Helpful Tips for Casting Blanks with Liquid Diamonds
Weather Alert! Heat will accelerate cure and cold weather will slow cure!!
1. How do I use Liquid Diamonds? Epoxy resins like Liquid Diamonds are a two part resin - you have to thoroughly mix the two parts of resin together before casting. Ratio of mixing is 2:1, which means for every two parts of resin (Part A - larger bottle), you need one part of hardener (Part B - smaller bottle). It's important to get your proportion measurements correct to be successful with fully cured blanks. We understand some prefer measuring resins by volume (in ounces), but we find it is best to measure Liquid Diamonds by weight (in grams) to prevent mixing errors. Since the amount of resin used for most pen applications is a small amount, slight variances in accuracy greatly affects ability for the resin to fully cure.
2. How do I mix Liquid Diamonds? The manufacturer recommends using a round container, pouring the Part A - resin into the Part B - hardener. Hand stir for a minimum of 3-5 minutes, thoroughly mixing slowly to avoid air bubbles, then pouring the mix into a second container and repeating the process of mixing slowly for another 3-5 minutes. Liquid Diamonds cure can be adversely affected by under-mixing the resin. The more mixing that is performed, the greater chance of a fully cured blank. If you are performing a color pour, weigh out and mix all the Liquid Diamonds in one batch. After mixing, we then split the mixed resin into smaller containers which we then add the mica powder to color the resin as desired. It usually takes about 30-45 minutes for Liquid Diamonds to set, depending on your temperature, so you have plenty of time to get the resin into your molds.
3. How much resin do I need? Approximate weights in grams are listed on our mold specifications page, just remember to add the two part weight amounts together to equal the total amount needed for your mold. When casting for the first time, we find it helps to weigh a cured blank after casting to fine tune the final amount recommended for each project.
4. Do I need mold release? Unlike Polyester Resin and Alumilite, if you don't wait long enough to fully cure epoxy resins before demolding, epoxy resin can be very soft or sticky, which can cause damage to your casting or molds. We recommend Stoner Thermoset Mold Release because it's specially formulated for using with epoxy resins.
5. How long does it take Liquid Diamonds to cure? Please understand that larger mixes will cure faster than smaller mixes, so it's best to wait until you have several blanks to cast at one time. Full cure of 30 grams (1 ounce) takes roughly 24 hours based on a room temperature of 77℉. If your work shop does not stay warm enough in the winter, casting may take several days for a full cure. We recommend you wait to demold your casts until fully cured to avoid any damage to your casting or molds. If using a pressure pot, please leave it under pressure until cured. Liquid Diamonds can take up to 5-7 days to reach full cure and hardness throughout the blank.
6. My Part A seems very thick, can it be thinned? If your Part A needs to be thinned, it can be placed in a hot water bath to allow easier mixing. Measure out the amount of Part A you wish to use into a cup. Place that cup in a bowl of hot tap water and mix periodically. This will allow the Part A to thin as it warms up. Please be aware that heating up the Part A will shorten the open time of the resins.
Please keep containers tightly sealed when not in use. Note: the hardener (Part B - smaller bottle) is extremely sensitive to moisture. Contact us if you have any other questions!