Casting Resin Comparison Chart

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

vtgaryw

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
610
Location
Milton, VT
Maybe someone's done this, but I haven't found one in my searches either in here or elsewhere. I've started to put together a chart comparing different casting resins, since lots of people new to casting have to sort through a lot of posts and instruction sheets.

It's a work in process, but I'm looking for feedback:

1) Is it useful?
2) What other resins should I include that are commonly used (I've just started with ones I've personally used so far.)
3) What other factors should I add? One I want to include is what kind of dyes/colorants can you use.

And, if anyone has any of my fill-in-the-blanks off the top of their head, it would save me some more digging.

Thanks,

Gary
 

Attachments

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

bmachin

Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2013
Messages
447
Location
Owensboro, KY
Couple of comments on Alumilite:

1. It is Urethane rather than Epoxy.

2. Although Alumilite says that shelf life is 3 months, generally it is much longer than that; typically a year or longer for the regular if it is kept cool and in the dark.

Bill
 

vtgaryw

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
610
Location
Milton, VT
Couple of comments on Alumilite:

1. It is Urethane rather than Epoxy.

2. Although Alumilite says that shelf life is 3 months, generally it is much longer than that; typically a year or longer for the regular if it is kept cool and in the dark.

Bill
1) Thanks. I had corrected that in my Excel file, but had apparently saved the .pdf first.
2) I'm going to list the vendor's specs for all of these attributes, but can add things like this to a notes section.

Gary
 

CaptainJane

Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2014
Messages
96
Location
Bayou Vista, Texas
I am looking for something like this right now. A column that gives you - time from un-molding until ready/able to turn - would be appreciated by us newbies.

Maybe that is "cure" time ?
 

ghansen4

Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2017
Messages
121
Location
Texas
This is great, very helpful! I would like to see cost as well, even if it is just something generic like $, $$, $$$, etc.
 

Dinosaurnut

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2018
Messages
30
Location
Hummelstown, PA
You should add Smooth-On to the list. They have a lot of products, but I mostly use 2. For solid color, I use the Smooth Cast 300, it’s a polyurethane resin. 3 min pot life, 10 min cure. I usually give it a 1/2 hour before I demold. White color, tints easily but you can’t get a good deep black. No pressure needed if solid resin, but you do if you are adding any inclusions.

For clear, I use the Crystal Clear 202. Also polyurethane, 9 min pot life and 90 min cure. I usually pressure, you get tiny bubbles otherwise. Although they do look pretty cool when the resin is tinted. I leave these in the mold for 24 hours before demolding, I mostly cast the clear tube on, and you risk getting a small air pocket between the tube and the resin if it’s not completely kicked. It doesn’t need to stay in the pressure pot for that time though.
 

Wayne

IAP Library Manager
Staff member
Joined
Dec 14, 2006
Messages
450
Location
East Troy, Wisconsin, USA.
Maybe someone's done this, but I haven't found one in my searches either in here or elsewhere. I've started to put together a chart comparing different casting resins, since lots of people new to casting have to sort through a lot of posts and instruction sheets.

It's a work in process, but I'm looking for feedback:

1) Is it useful?
2) What other resins should I include that are commonly used (I've just started with ones I've personally used so far.)
3) What other factors should I add? One I want to include is what kind of dyes/colorants can you use.

And, if anyone has any of my fill-in-the-blanks off the top of their head, it would save me some more digging.

Thanks,

Gary
Once you are happy with your chart this definitely needs to be in the library. Contact me when you're ready. We can work together if you need any assistance.

Wayne
Library Manager
 

Sylvanite

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2006
Messages
2,955
Location
Hillsborough, North Carolina, USA.
Assuming that you are using MEKP as the hardener (which is typical but not universal) with polyester resins (they are not all exactly the same), the recommended ratio is 1%-2% +/- depending on the resin, the thickness of the application, the ambient temperature, and any colorants added. It doesn't much matter if you go by weight or by volume, as the two are close enough to be within the error of measurement.

As you can probably guess, it really takes some trial-and-error, given the above variables. When casting Silmar 41 1-2 inches thick in a pressure pot at around 70 degrees F, I usually start at 1% MEKP.

I hope that helps,
Eric
 

vtgaryw

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
610
Location
Milton, VT
Once you are happy with your chart this definitely needs to be in the library. Contact me when you're ready. We can work together if you need any assistance.

Wayne
Library Manager
Thanks for the reminder! I need to get back to this. Still have some holes to fill in before I'd want it out there as a real reference. I'll go back through it and see what I still need to add and/or update.
 

vtgaryw

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
610
Location
Milton, VT
Assuming that you are using MEKP as the hardener (which is typical but not universal) with polyester resins (they are not all exactly the same), the recommended ratio is 1%-2% +/- depending on the resin, the thickness of the application, the ambient temperature, and any colorants added. It doesn't much matter if you go by weight or by volume, as the two are close enough to be within the error of measurement.

As you can probably guess, it really takes some trial-and-error, given the above variables. When casting Silmar 41 1-2 inches thick in a pressure pot at around 70 degrees F, I usually start at 1% MEKP.

I hope that helps,
Eric
Can you say some more about determining the correct quantity of hardener? I know varies by thickness is vague. What's your experience with adding colorants? Which ones work best? Which ones don't work at all (I know there's some.)
 

vtgaryw

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
610
Location
Milton, VT
You should add Smooth-On to the list. They have a lot of products, but I mostly use 2. For solid color, I use the Smooth Cast 300, it’s a polyurethane resin. 3 min pot life, 10 min cure. I usually give it a 1/2 hour before I demold. White color, tints easily but you can’t get a good deep black. No pressure needed if solid resin, but you do if you are adding any inclusions.

For clear, I use the Crystal Clear 202. Also polyurethane, 9 min pot life and 90 min cure. I usually pressure, you get tiny bubbles otherwise. Although they do look pretty cool when the resin is tinted. I leave these in the mold for 24 hours before demolding, I mostly cast the clear tube on, and you risk getting a small air pocket between the tube and the resin if it’s not completely kicked. It doesn’t need to stay in the pressure pot for that time though.
How well do they both turn?
 

vtgaryw

Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
Messages
610
Location
Milton, VT
I am looking for something like this right now. A column that gives you - time from un-molding until ready/able to turn - would be appreciated by us newbies.

Maybe that is "cure" time ?
Down below, Dinosaurnut gave information for Smooth-On products for both cure and demold time. Demold was the longest. So if I use that as standard terminology across the board would that work? Is there a better way to attack these two factors?
 
Top Bottom