- Slow set Alginate and how to make the un-stickable stick… to itself !
Here we are already speeding along into another chapter of what could become a very large almanac indeed if we didn’t keep wrestling with the heaps of techniques involved, & keep them all contained and orderly in the huge treasure chest of informative goodies in which they reside; Only allowing a few snippets of joy out to play here on these modest pages of the World Wide Web…
Having left you last month with a little insight into Alginate, we mentioned the Hessian reinforcement used and how it adds strength and assists in later stages of the process (see part 3 next month).
Here you can see how well the Alginate locks into the Hessian (as it was applied to it while the Alginate was still in paste form).
This is what is known as a mechanical bond and is very helpful to us. Generally alginate doesn’t stick to much, including body hair, or indeed itself. Sometimes however, when doing a large lifecast we need to apply a second layer for strength and to thicken up any thin patches, so we need to somehow make the alginate bond well to itself, this is how…
This time we’ll use the slower set lifecasting Alginate which sets in around 8 minutes as opposed to the 2 or 3 minutes of the coloured Dental Alginate.
Mixed in exactly the same manner as before, powder 1st, add water and mix to a smooth paste. Not too runny, but not too thick as it will then be difficult to apply and may trap air bubbles.So, if your 1st layer of Alginate has set on you, and you’re needing to add some more, simply paint the Alginate with a light coating of this magic blue liquid and work it in until you see the surface of the alginate begin to dissolve a little.
The Magic Blue liquid is called, most appropriately ‘Alginate Bonder’, and is actually a specific form of washing soda dissolved in water. It can also be used as a retarder to slow down the setting of Alginate when mixed into a batch in specific proportions.
Straight away you can mix up another batch of Alginate and apply that to the 1st layer. When set you will find that they are as one !
Part 3 of our Introduction to Lifecasting – Plaster bandage Support cases.
Want to learn more ?
Book onto our ‘One day Intensive Facial Lifecasting’ Course, or The ‘6 Week Intensive Prosthetic Makeup’ Course