The varying options in casting resins come with their own specific properties and use. However, polyurethane proves to be the safest and most versatile of them all. Find out what works in its favor…..
What is the first material you think of when you want to make a good quality cast but in as short a time as possible? Though the choice of casting material does depend on the type of mold, most casting artists prefer to use polyurethane resin.
This predilection is not just because polyurethanes are free of the safety risks associated with polyester resins – the latter emits noxious fumes during use and even the dust can be toxic. Moreover, polyester resin casts tend to shrink unpredictably and even turn yellow with time. While epoxy resin does not pose such hazards, the cure time and poor finish proves to be a major drawback. The cost can be restrictive too.
On the other hand, polyurethane resin is much safer to use than polyester options and less expensive than epoxy ones. The fact that it is comparatively quick-setting further tips the scales in favor of polyurethanes. While some polyurethane brands do require using a respirator for safety purposes, you can skip this precaution if you opt for any of the top-quality resin options offered by EnvironMolds at Artmolds.com as the odor emission is very low.
Going ahead, polyurethane resins come in two variations – opaque and water clear. The former sets to an ivory clear in just 5-8 minutes while the clear ones can take around 25 minutes. The glossy finish will not yellow or fade with age either.
No wonder, resin casting is a popular medium and is regularly used for making figurines, giftware, point-of-purchase displays, sculpture reproductions, rapid prototypes and even special effects. Polyurethane resins can even be used for cold casting to reproduce the look of stone, wood or metal. The optically clear ones are particularly favored for making professional-grade jewelry and encapsulation. The same resin can also create a highly polished surface coating on table tops and presentation plaques.
Therefore, polyurethane resin is a versatile material that lends itself easily to varying uses. Moreover, it is tough, durable and temperature-resistant as well.