Pardon our dust. We are testing out new theme settings for our forum to better match our homepage.

Shelf life of Foam Latex (post casting)

Hello, 

I've been getting mixed answers regarding the shelf life of foam latex casts for both props or animatronics and was wondering if someone could share their experience/knowledge on the subject. I would really like to have flexible casts that last a long time but wasnt sure if they made it past the 2-3 year shelf life post cast. Any other suggestions or products to look into would also be of help. Ideally I'd like to keep my cast pieces and foam latex pieces forever and wasnt sure if that's possible. 

kind regards, 

Z

Comments

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    The challenge here is that there is no set time limit, as the causes of foam latex degradation are variable.

    How the foam degrades is based on exposure to UV light, cold/heat, oils, moisture, movement, etc.

    Keeping the pieces forever is not really possible, as foam latex uses organic latex that breaks down naturally.  But you should be fine keeping your pieces for many years if you keep them out of sunlight, don't handle them (as movement can break down the latex, as will the oils from your skin), keep then safe from contamination like overspray from solvents/oils/etc, and don't let them get too hot/cold.

    Over time the latex will become brittle and start to flake/crack when handled.

    If you want a display piece, casting it out of resin or silicone is a good idea.

    /Chris
  • Thanks you, Chris!! 

    I really appreciate the answer, would you recommend any alternatives? I've looked into flexible rubbers for instance. 
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Los Angeles Admin
    I try and use Silicone as often as possible, as it lasts really long if taken care of.

    If the piece is just for display and does not need to be flexible you can use any kind of rigid casting medium like urethane resin.  ( http://www.smooth-on.com/Urethane-Plastic-a/c5/index.html )

    Or you could use a urethane rubber.  ( http://www.smooth-on.com/Urethane-Rubber-an/c6/index.html )

    When I plan on trying a new material I often reach out to a local rep at Smooth On/Reynolds Advanced Materials/Silpak and see what material they recommend for a specific application.

    /Chris
  • Thanks again, Chris!

    I was looking into using silicone as well after I looked into how durable it was, seems like it won't rot or wear down as quick as other materials. I am looking to have some movement in my project and would like it to stay with me. 

    Thanks again! 

    Z
Sign In or Register to comment.