What are Silicone Molds?
Silicone molds are created by pouring silicone into a prepared shape, mold box or mold die. The silicone forms the shape of the container or the item placed in the container. Silicone molds are very popular with hobbyists and artists who create candles, jewelry and figurines.
To create silicone molds, you will need to purchase silicone. Suitable silicone can be found in arts and crafts stores, hardware stores and specialty stores on the Internet. If you are having the silicone delivered, check the shipping price first as it is a heavy material.
There are two types of silicone suitable for making molds: platinum catalyzed and tin catalyzed. Platinum catalyzed silicone, also known as addition cure silicone, contains chemicals designed to slow down the curing process and allow sufficient time to manipulate the silicone mold. Tin catalyzed or condensation cure silicone is not very common as the material cannot be heated to keep it pliable, making it harder to work with.
There are four types of silicone molds: block, block multiple piece, glove and cast glove. All these types of molds require a room temperature working space, protective gloves, plastic sheets, mixing containers, stirring sticks and a mold box. The different types of molds are used to create different products and the appropriate mold should be selected based on your desired result.
A block mold is the simplest type of silicon mold and a great place to start. The part you wish to create a mold of is placed inside the mold box and positioned to ensure that the silicone touches all sides. The prepared silicone is poured into the prepared block mold box and a silicone mold is created.
A multiple piece block mold follows the same basic process as the block mold, but the mold is cut to remove the original part. This can also be done by half filling the container and applying a chemical release agent before finishing. The application of the release agent will allow the mold to separate after curing.
The glove mold is for experienced silicone mold users and is used for building restoration. A special chemical called a thixotropic agent is applied to the original part to keep the silicone in place. The silicone is then brushed onto the shape, cured and removed.
A cast glove mold creates a shell of the desired shape. The silicone is poured into the shell to create the pattern. Cast glove molds are usually made of modeling clay, plaster or fiberglass.
When creating a silicone mold, follow the instructions provided with the materials carefully. The silicone must be mixed together and the quickly poured into the mold box. Advanced preparation and having all required materials at hand will allow you to create silicone molds that meet your needs.
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