Applications for Smooth-On’s Crystal Clear™ liquid plastics get larger and more varied with each passing year and include casting custom lenses for cars, creating movie glass or ice effects and making very large sculpture reproductions. Currently, there are people working on several large Crystal Clear™ casting projects around the world ranging in size from 10,000 lbs. / 4,536 kgs. to over 30,000 lbs. / 13,600 kgs. Many of these projects are beyond the scope of what these resins were originally developed for meaning that we can’t easily predict the outcome. We do our best to assist on these projects and anticipate how the material will behave when cast in large quantities, against different surfaces, encapsulating different objects, etc. While assisting on projects, we learned quite a bit and wanted to share with you one technique that can always make a significant difference in the casting outcome.
Regardless of the Crystal Clear™ product you are using, we recommend that the rubber mold (usually our Mold Max™ tin-catalyzed silicone) be heated at 212° F / 100° C for at least four hours before casting. This will minimize the chance that cured castings will exhibit undesirable casting anomalies such as fish-eyeing, suck-back, etc.
Don’t have an oven available to you? An easy, low cost answer can be found by clicking here.
NYC Sculpture Project:
Ursala Von Rydingsvard sculpted the original (above) out of cedar.
Using MoldMax™30 to make section molds (above, ), Walla Walla Foundry (Walla Walla, WA) used Crystal Clear™ 221 to make castings that were then assembled to create the finished piece that now resides in Madison Square Park in New York City.
Visitors marvel at the alabaster-like appearance of the Crystal Clear™ 221
and color tint.
Buddhist Temple Project:
Nassal Fabrication in Orlando, FL. was commissioned to mold and cast a large Buddha statue using Crystal Clear™ resin. Collapsable Mold Max™ 30 cores were made as part of the mold structure to make the hollow castings. The assembled piece sits on a Smooth-Cast resin cold cast bronze lotus flower and resides on a mountain overlooking Hong Kong. When lit from underneath with colored lights, you can see the sculpture at night from miles around.
Crystal Clear™ & Architecture:
For producing Crystal Clear™ 221 castings used to create a dramatic staircase in a custom built home, Ed Sykes (Cherson Prom, Inc. in Los Angeles) improvised a production method by creating a “hot box” made of insulated foil-lined cardboard and plywood. Once the Clear resin is mixed with a few drops of SO-Strong™ blue tint, vacuumed and poured into the pre-heated Mold Max™ 30 mold, the hot box is lowered over the mold. A 60,000 btu heater is aligned with a collar on the hot box and quickly heats the oven to about 220°F / 102°C. The staircase was being installed as the house was being built. Clear resin panels will be lit from underneath for night time effect. Mr. Sykes says that the architect and owner of the home were so excited at how well the castings turned out that they are designing new projects around the Crystal Clear™ resin specifically.