anyone with experience in clear resins?

I am currently making large crystal growth out of hard insulation foam and will coat them in epoxy and mold with silicone, im trying to make a lamp for my wife and I don't know what would be the best solution to make as clear as possible crystal growths, minimal bubbles or yellowing. yes, got the idea from playing destiny to much.

Comments

  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Admin Los Angeles Admin
    Greetings Randal,

    Reynolds Advanced Materials makes a few great clear epoxies.

    EpoxAcast 690 is clear and has some UV resistance.  
    http://www.smooth-on.com/Castable-Epoxy-Res/c1295_1377/index.html

    For the more advanced user (IE: someone with a good ventilation setup and some experience working with nastier chemicals) there is their "Crystal Clear" series which is optically clear http://www.smooth-on.com/Urethane-Plastic-a/c5_1120_1156/index.html

    If you have a material that is known to yellow over time with UV exposure you can add a tiny bit of blue tint to help balance out the yellowing.

    Also, I'm not sure how large your crystals will be, but if you place the molds in a pressure pot during curing it will help with clarity.   The pressure does not remove the bubbles, but makes them much smaller.

    /Chris
  • Does it have to be clear clear? Crystals have many different types of imperfections that more often than not increase their value. So maybe a little bit of a white haze here and there would take focus away from little mishaps?   
  • thank you for the info everyone, all great tips. Im looking into pressure pots. this is getting to be an expensive project fast...thanks again. love the support on this forum
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Admin Los Angeles Admin
    Any time Randal, and I can't wait to see your creation!

    /Chris
  • Here are a few casts I did with Smooth on crystal cast 200 & 202. The full skulls were hand rorocasted. the others were poured into a mold. very little bubbles in the poured versions, but pretty clear. Obviously making them solid will consume a lot of material & weigh quite a bit. Another option could be to cut clear acrylic & glue it together. While it wont be optically clear along the edges it may work to your advantage when underlit with the light source, like an edgelit sign. I have a video of the skulls on my youtube channel. My wife wanted me to make them for the centerpieces for all the tables at our wedding.
  • Chris EllerbyChris Ellerby Admin Los Angeles Admin
    Those sculls look great.  The bubbles created in the rotocast versions really help defuse the light.

    /Chris
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