Multi-Purpose Nature of Sodium Silicate

I recently came across water glass – also called liquid glass – on the EnvironMolds website I am well aware that sodium carbonate and silicon dioxide react when molten to form sodium silicate and release carbon dioxide. This compound is regularly used in cements, passive fire protection, refractories, textile and lumber processing, and automobiles.

Imagine my surprise when it dawned on me that the same sodium silicate also enjoys patronage in the world of mold making and casting! The potential of sodium silicate in working as an effective deflocculant for clay slips is still understandable.

However, I had no clue that this same compound would help provide an antique finish to ceramics! All you have to do is brush a thrown pot with a solution of sodium silicate. The painted surface is then quickly dried before expanding the pot from inside. What happens is that the thin skin of sodium silicate first hardens when dried with a blow torch or heat gun while the clay still stays soft and malleable. The pressure of expansion from inside cracks the skin to give the pot an instant antique look. The glazed surface looks quite authentic.

EnvironMolds offers Sodium Silicate in aqueous solution that can be used for ceramics, metal mold making, cement and plaster sealing and also as a high temperature adhesive. It is odorless, non-toxic, moisture resistant, non-flammable and comes at a very low cost too.

Alginate Safe for Skin Contact

Alginate is the most commonly used material for making body molds. As it is extracted from seaweed and combined with other harmless substances, alginate can be safely applied on any part of the human body.

In fact, alginate is a natural organic material that is food safe as well. It is used as an ingredient in many food products and is safe to eat. Alginate is also regularly used to capture dental impressions and life casting alginate has evolved from this formula itself. The mold making version is only modified to deliver slower setting times.

All you have to do is mix the alginate powder with water to form a gel like paste. Avoid using hard water for this purpose. The alginate paste can be easily applied on the face, hands, legs, torso or the entire human body too. It will set within a couple of minutes and can be easily demolded by twisting or wriggling the body part.

EnvironMolds provides a range of alginate formulas that capture incredible details and provide an exact reproduction of the body part where it is applied. Apart from the traditional formulas, there is a silica-free version (softer set suitable for babies and small children) and fiber-reinforced version (delayed shrinkage and improved tear strength for larger molds). Check for other slower set variations as well.