Making Body Molds With Silicone

Silicone rubber can be formulated to be applied on the skin for making body molds. And LifeRite is leading the pack as the most-favored skin safe silicone rubber. Let’s find out more about the same.

Silicone rubber is a high-quality and durable material that is favored by artists for making molds and casts. Art stores’ aisles feature a range of specially formulated silicones that are suitable for almost any application ranging from general mold making and casting to food molds, baking containers, mask making, special effects and even duplicating skin surfaces.

Apart from this, there is a unique silicone rubber that can be safely used on the skin for life casting! Yes, you heard that right – alginate does not have to be the main staple for making body molds as a silicone formulation can be applied directly on the body to capture the shape of the face, hands, feet and other body parts. And these silicone body molds are long-lasting for multiple castings unlike their single use alginate counterparts!

In fact, LifeRite Skin Safe Silicone Rubber is favored by life casting artists, special effects artists and even for prosthetics due its superior quality and excellent results. This is a two-component, platinum-cured, room temperature cure silicone rubber with excellent physical properties like flexibility, quick curing, forensic detail and long mold life. It can stay put even on horizontal surfaces, allowing for easy full body molds with the model in standing position.

Tips for using LifeRite

  • This silicone rubber features a mix ratio of 10 Parts A to 1 Part B by weight and is easy to mix. The base and catalyst should be mixed thoroughly to get an even lavender hue. Ensure that no catalyst remains on the base or sides of the container.
  • To slow down the working time, the base can be kept in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or even left in the freezer overnight.
  • Silicone rubber does not stick to anything but itself. Therefore, it can be directly applied on clean and dry skin. However, petroleum jelly or mold release is favored for keeping body hair from getting entangled in the silicone.
  • As latex rubber inhibits this platinum-cured silicone, wearing rubber gloves can keep the body mold from curing properly. It is advisable to use vinyl gloves instead.
  • The silicone can be applied with a soft bristle brush, spatula, palette knife or a manual or pneumatic cartridge gun system. Dearing is not required as both the base and catalyst are deaired at the manufacturing stage itself. However, applying a print coat first is preferable to eliminate any tiny air bubbles.
  • Allow the rubber to cure for 5 to 6 minutes before applying the shell mold.
  • After demolding, the body mold should be left to cure for an additional hour or so prior to the casting. Else pin-hole air bubbles may appear in the life cast.
  • Wax, plaster, clay or resin can be cast in the LifeRite mold. If making clay life casts for special effects works, the material should be sulfur-free as the presence of sulfur can again inhibit the curing.

Clear Ballistic Gel Available at EnvironMolds

The clear ballistic gel blocks and dummies replace standard ballistic gelatin as the most effective medium for testing terminal performance of different types of arms, ammunition and even body armor.

Terminal ballistic testing involves verifying the destructive effects of various firearms and ammunition on the real human body. Even body armor like vests need to be tested for the level of efficacy in protecting the human body.

This kind of testing requires dummies or backing material that can mimic human tissue. Clear ballistic gel torso has emerged as a standardized testing medium as the gelatin closely simulates both the density and viscosity of human and animal tissue. This can be used to analyze the effects of different bullet wounds or even as backing material when testing ballistic vests and the like.

EnvironMolds offers the first-ever commercially available and reusable ballistic testing dummy made of industry-leading, 100% synthetic ballistic gelatin without any organic materials. The dummy heads and torsos are suitable for testing any ammunition, weapons, personal armor, shields or any other protection equipment including shrapnel penetrations. What’s more, they can even provide penetrating and non-penetrating ballistic data from the same device at the same time. The clear ballistic gel dummies meet the FBI protocols for providing unmatched terminal ballistics data and are duly calibrated by Clear Ballistics.

The three-dimensional ballistic gel torso is designed to replicate an athletic male in great physical condition. It can be used in sitting position (vertical) or lying down (horizontal) for all types of testing, research or even recreation purposes. What’s more, the torso is reusable as the ballistic gelatin can be remelted and remolded any number of times.

Apart from this, the company website, also stocks clear ballistic gel blocks that can be molded into any shape. The blocks are available in varied sizes and types to suit different types of terminal ballistic testing and can be purchased by the pound as well.

The results are reliable and consistent and the clear ballistic gel torso is also considered the most cost effective ballistic testing medium!

Plaster Bandages in Body Molds

Life casting artists commonly use plaster of Paris bandages to reinforce the body molds. This keeps the otherwise flexible mold from flopping over itself and losing its shape, thus allowing for proper life casts.

Alginate is the most preferred material for making body molds. It is safe for the skin and captures minute details well. These molds have the making for excellent life casts.

However, alginate molds are flexible and cannot retain their shape after being demolded from the body. They tend to flop over themselves making casting difficult.

This is why life casting artists always reinforce the alginate body molds with Plaster of Paris bandages. This is known as a shell mold as it forms a rigid covering that supports the mold and facilitates easy casting.

The plaster bandages are in the form of long rolls of gauze that is infused with plaster powder. The technique is to wet the bandage and apply it over the mold. The plaster in the bandage will dry to form a rigid mold that helps the inner mold to retain its shape.

When making a shell mold, first cut out long strips of the plaster bandage. Take a bowl of warm water and dip one strip until it is saturated. Gently lift it out and squeeze the excess water. Apply on the mold surface while taking care to remove air bubbles by smoothing out the surface with the fingers. Repeat the process with each bandage while ensuring that each successive layer overlaps the earlier one until the entire mold is covered.

It is advisable to change the water once it starts getting milky. This is because some of the plaster is shed while wetting. Continuing to use the same may cause the bandages to delaminate after they have dried.

Once the mold is dry, demold from the body and continue casting as usual.

The same plaster bandages are sometimes used directly on the body as well. This is preferred for making molds of the abdomen, especially for pregnancy molds. It makes form molds of the shape as details are not required.