Alumilite

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bmachin

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
428
Location
Owensboro, KY
If you are talking about Amazing Clear Cast, it is an Alumilite product, but it is an epoxy. Alumilite when used generically around here usually refers to Alumilite Clear which is a urethane casting resin. They are as different as night and day.

Alumilite makes many different products: silicone rubbers, epoxies, urethanes, etc.

Your best bet to get them straight is to take a look at their website:


Bill
 

J_B

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
43
Location
Shelbyville, KY
Bill, quick question. Is Alumilite low in fumes as casting guys have stated in the past? I am super sensitive due to asthma and was curious before spending the money only to be sent to the hospital and out the price of the product as well. I have tried the Canned stuff from Michaels it danged near sent me to stratus zone ahh! Are there any alumilite products that have no volatile fumes?

Thanks
jb
 

mark james

IAP Collection, Curator
Joined
Sep 6, 2012
Messages
8,497
Location
Medina, Ohio
Bill, quick question. Is Alumilite low in fumes as casting guys have stated in the past? I am super sensitive due to asthma and was curious before spending the money only to be sent to the hospital and out the price of the product as well. I have tried the Canned stuff from Michaels it danged near sent me to stratus zone ahh! Are there any alumilite products that have no volatile fumes?

Thanks
jb

JB, I chime in on this. I also am asthma, currently a daily medication (On and off for 54 years). About 4 years ago I did Alumilite Clear casting for about 1/2 year. My wife is a chemist, so she was very opinionated against PR. So I got a pressure pot, all misc stuff, and began to cast stamps, carbon fiber, and a few other misc stuff. I had this in my basement, with poor ventilation. All went well, after I got my process down, I probably cast 40-50 blanks over a week.

When I vented the pressure pot, it was probably 1-2 feet away from my face. After a few days my eyes were almost closed shut. After some nifty prednisone, my ugly mug was back to typical, but I began to have skin rashes. My wife clearly stated that I was sensitized by the Alumilite Clear (urethane). She had seen this in her chemical lab (Union Carbide, BF Goodrich, Lubrizol) with assistants who were sloppy and not using their vent hood properly. In their case, sensitizing was permanent, would only get worse with continued exposure and would impact the compatability with other chemicals, fumes, dust, etc... They were transferred to other labs, no option.

It took about 2 years for the skin rashes to settle down, many costly medications that were useless. Prior to the eventual diagnosis (Wifey was correct) I did cast very occasionally (5-10 blanks), but used a system where the pressure pot exhaust port was connected to a hose that vented through a wall outside of my garage. This seemed to work and allow me to dabble with casting - which I no longer do and have gifted my equipment away. I believe the exhaust and skin exposure was my downfall.

My suggestions:

1. Proper ventilation
2. Have a fan blow the fumes away from you, preferably outside
3. Use proper rated gloves and do not get the Alumilite on your skin. Long sleeve shirts.
4. Consider a respirator (After my wife retired I got to keep her industrial one - It even has prescription glasses mountings).

It is probably that these are a bit overkill, but considering we both are asthmatic and enjoy this activity, maybe you will benefit from my experience and avoid my issues.

I also wrote a library article pertaining to my efforts. I'll supply a link in a minute. Casting Box.

Finally, as with turning certain species of woods, the question may be not will I get sensitized, but how soon.

And - this was with Alumilite Clear, I have no experience with Alumilite clear cast, which as Bill noted is an epoxy and may have different precautions. I am not an expert in this matter - just a humble temporary caster.
 

bmachin

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
428
Location
Owensboro, KY
I'm not a toxicologist although my son is. That said, it's possible to become sensitized to pretty much anything as Mark has attested. Epoxy fumes are probably one of the worst when it comes to the general population, I believe.

I would take Mark's advice to heart. Alumilite Clear is a beautiful material to turn. I suspect that the cured material (whether epoxy or urethane) is very inert.

Bill
 

J_B

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
43
Location
Shelbyville, KY
Thank you Mark & Bill for all the great advice. I think it better to leave casting to the experts and not take any chances. I have now learned with your help that some things are better just left alone. There are plenty of beautiful blanks out for really decent prices. The casting box is a great idea as well thank you for providing the link. I will send that to friend.

Thank you
jb
 
Last edited:

acmaclaren

Angi the Maker
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
242
Location
Seattle WA
I don't have a pressure pot either, but I do a lot of casting. I use Liquid Diamonds. It doesn't smell, which is why I use it. I have a sensitivity to chemical smells, which causes migraine headahes. I've had really good luck with it. I use a ratio of 1.7 to 1. I've found LD easy to turn as well. I hope this helps.
 
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