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Old 09-08-2018, 12:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Novice Liquid Diamonds vs Alumilite Clear

Novice Liquid Diamonds vs Alumilite Clear

First experiment was the first attempt using Liquid Diamonds here:
Novice Trial of Liquid Diamonds

This time we wanted to try Liquid Diamonds side by side with Alumilite Clear so the compassion was pretty even. From the first review, our Liquid Diamonds stayed more pliable than we liked.

For this trial, I paid extra attention to making sure we were getting the 2:1 ratio for Liquid Diamonds as exact as I could to ensure no errors.

Here you see the Liquid Diamonds mixed in the cup:
img_0508.jpg

Compared to the Alumilite Clear:
img_0510.jpg

Basically I stirred as normal and ended up with about the same amount of bubbles in each.

Into the mold which had the left side coated with Stoner Mold Release and the right side coated with non-stick cooling spray (PAM in this case). See the mold release comparison here:
Novice Trial of Liquid Diamonds

Notice in the mold I took one of each product and embedded 3 pieces in them. 1 piece of stabilized dyed worthless wood, 1 piece of the Liquid Diamonds broken heart from the first pour and piece of orange dyed Alumilite Clear from my bucket of stuff I can’t seem to throw away.
img_0511.jpg

Into the big pot at 60psi for about 22 hours. I know the Alumilite didn’t need this but have read the LD needed anywhere from 12-24 hours under pressure (or no pressure).
img_0512.jpg
img_0513.jpg

Out of the pot and both looked pretty good. The wood piece initially floated higher in the Alumilite than the LD (I presume due to the greater thickness of the Alumilite) but under pressure and cure the seemed to settle to the same level.

Clarity of the Clear resin really seemed about equal:
img_0556.jpg

One thing to notice from a potential artistic perspective is that the Half a Heart made of Liquid Diamonds cast earlier in the week nearly disappeared in the LD blank. Wonder what a colored piece would have looked like.
img_0549.jpg

Now comes the odd stuff. By the time we finished this comparison we have become concerned that Chuck (dalecamino) received a bad batch of Liquid Diamonds from the vendor. Other experienced LD users also had issues with batches of the epoxy purchased around the same time.

Here I set a 2.5 lb weight on the Alumilite blank:
img_0534.jpg

And the Liquid Diamonds blank:
img_0536.jpg

Obviously, mixed per directions 2:1 by weight, the LD is still very pliable.

Over a 4 day period it has firmed up some, but still more flexible than others have reported.
img_0574.jpg

Other things learned:
Freezing the blanks had no effect on the Alumilite. It slowed the rate of cure slightly on the LD with it getting hard from freezing but being more pliable after thawing than an unfrozen LD blank.
img_0561.jpg frozen then thawed day 2

Heating the blanks to +/-150F had no real effect on either Liquid Diamonds or the Alumilite Blank.

Both the Liquid Diamonds and the Alumilite have the same fill/gram. 90 grams of each filled 2 blank molds to the same level. As such, you can directly compare cost/gram or ounce of product.

Though in this state (seeming to be pliable after cure) our Liquid Diamonds still had the previously mentioned toughness and self healing properties.
img_0539.jpg
img_0543.jpg

The Alumilite did not need the ability to heal as it was virtually unaffected by the channel locks.
img_0540.jpg
img_0542.jpg

Neither blank was damaged by dropping on a painted concrete floor. Due to the softness of the cited blank, the LD cut about 2-3x deeper with the same pressure from a pocket knife as the Alumilite did.

Both products handled embedded items well. Without pressure, Liquid Diamonds will allow bubbles to settle out but trapped air pockets will remain trapped.

Alumilite Clear, with no pressure, will keep every bubble in it then some.

Due to the lower pour thickness or viscosity, it makes sense that Liquid Diamonds could better embed complex shapes.

However, for these tests, the Liquid Diamonds that Chuck purchased never seemed to fully cure. Info from others indicates it could be very sensitive to small changes in the mix ratio, using more hardener to improve its characteristics.

As such, Chuck has approved my use of the rest of his Liquid Diamonds from this evidently bad batch in a third trial using different mix ratios. Look for those results later this month.

The Alumilite Clear? Well, I measured it “close enough”, it’s a little old and clumpy in the part B and, as long as you mix it thoroughly, still comes out the same way each time. BUT, it needs pressure.

I may try Liquid Diamonds in the future as people I trust use it and say it is good. For this trial, I feel Chuck didn’t get his money’s worth with the Liquid Diamonds as it basically failed.

We’ll see how the different hardener ratios do for the LD. They are in the pot.


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Old 09-08-2018, 12:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Not sure why you froze them. I guess you have your reasons.
Liquid diamonds needs several days to fully cure.
Why change the ratios?
I weigh with scales accurate to the .01 grams and never had any problems with LD or Alumilite (urethane).

Alumilite Clear is not an epoxy resin but a polyuyrethane resin. You are comparing apples to oranges. Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast is their epoxy. Alumilite is a brand name and they make several types of resin.

Do a good turn daily!
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Old 09-08-2018, 02:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Thanks, Don. Just froze them for the fun of it. I understand they are two different types of products and that Alumilite is a brand, with Alumilite Clear being one of their products.

We changed the ratios based off of instructions from an Australian Vendor of Liquid Diamonds recommendation on their website.

Understand, as a novice I am trying to compare all of the technical aspects of Alumilite Clear to Liquid Diamonds. They are the same in the perspective they are both used to make blanks. Just comparing how it casts, turns and polishes. To this point, we have been unable to make it past casting.

In a sense, it is exactly like comparing apples and oranges. We can eat both even though they are different colors, textures, tastes and types. But, so far, we have been unable to a piece of one in our mouth to continue the comparison.

The other odd thing is information on this web site indicating from some that it takes nearly a week before Liquid Diamonds is ready to use when others say it may only take a day.


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Old 09-08-2018, 03:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Nice report Mike. Looking for ward to further results.
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Old 09-08-2018, 05:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Also want to express my thanks for this report.

I don't cast yet, but am collecting info.
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Old 09-08-2018, 05:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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I don’t understand the purpose of a head to head comparison of two disparate products. A comparison of LD to Royal Palm, West System, Art Resin or other low viscosity epoxy would be more telling to me.
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Old 09-08-2018, 05:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickR View Post
I don’t understand the purpose of a head to head comparison of two disparate products. A comparison of LD to Royal Palm, West System, Art Resin or other low viscosity epoxy would be more telling to me.
For me personally, it started out as a way to determine if I want to buy more of the LD, or stay with what I know works. Then Mike had other questions and ideas, and decided to have some fun. I'm going to let him. I believe he's using the process of elimination.
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Old 09-08-2018, 05:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Default Novice Liquid Diamonds vs Alumilite Clear

Sounds great to me, too, Patrick, please let us know how your comparison goes.

However, I am confused by the notion that I shouldn’t be comparing two different products. There are folks on here with years of experience who have tried many things and already have a knowledge that of what they do or don’t like. There are likely people with deep enough pockets and enough time and resources to go buy some of everything and try it themselves.

I also expect there are among our tens of thousands of members, especially among we “novices” who either want to try casting or have started casting with a particular product and wonder what the differences are with something else.

From what I have seen, Liquid Diamonds is neat and different from Alumilite. I am describing how it is different.

We have threads talking about how we do something with a wood blank vs how we do the same thing with a resin blank. The shared information helps us make decisions on the way we do things.

I will continue to update on the similarities and differences between Liquid Diamonds and Alumilite Clear montages from now. How do I know that? I have some Alumilite Clear pieces that have begun to yellow. They are months old. I wonder how the LD will look at the same age.

Not trying to find the best epoxy. Comparing a urethane to an epoxy. Will also be comparing PR to both. Can’t wait to try the Royal Palm. And will still turn wood.


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Old 09-08-2018, 07:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by its_virgil View Post

Alumilite Clear is not an epoxy resin but a polyuyrethane resin. You are comparing apples to oranges. Alumilite Amazing Clear Cast is their epoxy. Alumilite is a brand name and they make several types of resin.

Do a good turn daily!
Don
Thanks for explaining that. I started with the Amazing because I can get the larger size 40% off the regular $30 at the Hobby Lobby less than a mile from my house. I've liked it so far and at that price wasn't sure if there's an advantage to Alumilite Clear.

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