Alja-Safe® Acrobat® is a fiber reinforced "non-sag" version of original Alja-Safe® life casting alginate. Acrobat is thicker and holds vertical surfaces allowing the user better control for making molds of the face, torso, etc. Acrobat® reproduces perfect detail from all body surfaces and is good for making temporary molds that can be used to make highly detailed reproductions cast in wax, plaster, Matrix® NEO® (polymer modified gypsum), platinum cure silicone or Smooth-Cast® 300Q ultra-fast urethane resin.
Easy To Use – Mix ratio is 1 part Alja-Safe® Acrobat® powder sifted into 1 part water (1:1 by volume). Working time is 5 minutes and cure time is 8 minutes, assuming a water temperature of 80° F / 27° C.
Like original Alja-Safe®, Acrobat® is skin safe and does not contain crystalline silica (a known carcinogen).
For making re-usable molds of any body part, use Body Double® silicone rubber.
Preparation - Store and use Alja-Safe® Acrobat® in a dry environment at room temperature. Alja-Safe® Acrobat® powder may get warm in storage/shipping during the summer months which will cause the powder/water mixture to set too fast. To remedy, store Alja-Safe® Acrobat® in a cool area (60°F - 70°F or 15°C - 31°C) for 24 hours before using. Alja-Safe® Acrobat® has a limited shelf life and should be used as soon as possible. Do not allow moisture to come into contact with unused Alja-Safe® Acrobat®. Use only with adequate ventilation.
Practice: Make a mold of the back of your hand – make a mold of something small before going on to larger models. You’ll gain a lot of experience with a small test.
Applying A Release Agent – Alja-Safe® Acrobat® will not stick to most surfaces. When making a mold of the head, a release preparation is recommended to prevent mechanical lock to the hair. Cholesterol based hair conditioner (available at most pharmacies) can be applied to hair-covered areas prior to applying Alja-Safe® Acrobat®. It can be washed out of the hair easily after use.
Because no two applications are quite the same, a small test application to determine suitability for your project is recommended if performance of this material is in question.
Measuring – Alja-Safe® Acrobat® is mixed 1 part water to 1 part powder by volume (1 cup + 1 cup, for example). IMPORTANT - You must pack the powder firmly into the measuring cup. You can vary the water level somewhat to change consistency of the mixture. Less water will make Alja-Safe® Acrobat® thicker. More water will make the mixture thinner. Be careful…too much water will may result in the mixture not curing.
Water Quality – Water that has a high mineral content (calcium, phosphate, etc.) may cause any alginate to become "lumpy" or not set properly. A small-scale test is recommended prior to mixing large amounts.
Temperature Of The Water - At 80° F / 27° C, Alja-Safe® Acrobat® will have a working time of 8 minutes and a demold time of 10 minutes. Warmer water will cause the material to cure faster (less working time). Colder water will give a longer working time and slower demold time. For best results, sift Alja-Safe® powder into water and mix as directed.
Mixing – Alja-Safe® Acrobat® can be hand mixed, but best results will be obtained using a power drill with a mixer attachment. Attach a Jiffy Mixer or Turbine Mixer to a power drill and mix for one minute (depending on volume) to a gel-like consistency – smooth without any powder lumps. Jiffy mixers are available at many hardware stores. Turbine Mixers will yield the best mix and are available from Smooth-On or your Smooth-On distributor.
Alja-Safe® Acrobat® is designed to be applied to vertical surfaces.
For Best Results: Wet the surface of the model’s skin before applying. Apply a thin coating of Alja-Safe® Acrobat® to the surface of the model by brushing, smoothing the material on by hand or using a plastic spatula. Keep your model still until the Alja-Safe® Acrobat® sets up. You will know the Alja-Safe® Acrobat® has set when it is firm and no longer gel-like.
You may want to experiment with the amount of water added to Alja-Safe® Acrobat® to find a thicker consistency that is right for vertical surface application. For example, some customers mix 1 part water to 1.5 parts Alja-Safe® Acrobat®.
Applying A Support Shell - Once the material cures, a support shell will be necessary to support the Alja-Safe® Acrobat® mold. Gypsona brand medical grade plaster bandages are ideal for this purpose, and are available from Smooth-On or your Smooth-On distributor.
Casting Into The Mold - All alginate molds will deteriorate quickly. It is recommended that you cast into the mold within 4 hours following demold. Materials commonly cast into alginates include Matrix NEO (polymer modified gypsum, available from Smooth-On), plaster, wax, clay and very fast urethane resins (such as Smooth-Cast® 300Q). For Soft "Skin-Like" Castings – You can cast Dragon Skin® FX Pro® soft silicone rubber into Alja-Safe® Acrobat®molds to make realistic hands, limbs, etc.