What You Need to Know About Latex Casting Rubber

Latex rubber is fun to use and lends itself well to varied projects. It can be used by beginners as well as experienced artists. It is fun to play around with the rubber with unending creative possibilities.

Liquid latex rubber can be split into two categories – mold making and casting rubber formulae. While the purpose is obvious from the names, it should be noted that liquid latex casting rubbers are always less viscous than the mold making ones. Therefore, they are preferred for making props, masks and other theatrical work.

As this category of rubber is more fluid, making the cast is as easy as pouring the material into the mold and letting it sit for some time before pouring it out again. This forms a thin skin inside the mold – the perfect way to make stretchable masks, props and other thin rubber items. RD-407 Mask Making and Casting Latex is the preferred product for such applications.

The same latex can be applied on the skin to create varying kinds of special effects. It will dry quickly to form a second skin of sorts, making it perfect for creating gashes, wounds, cuts and even horrifying effects.

Working with latex rubber

Latex rubber compounds are very easy to use as they do not require any mixing or other preparations. Application is direct and simple and the molds/casts capture excellent details to create an exact reproduction.

Latex casts are inherently flexible, more so than the casting formulations. However, the degree of flexibility of the latex cast can be controlled by adding an appropriate filler. RubRfil Latex Mold Rubber Filler And Extender is an excellent product that can make the latex cast turn out to be very flexible or very hard depending on the combination. The following proportions are suggested to get varying results:

  • 1 part latex to 1/2 part RubRfil - very flexible
  • 1 part latex to 1 part RubRfil– flexible
  • 1 part latex to 1 1/2 part RubRfil - medium flexibility
  • 1 part latex to 2 1/2 part RubRfil - very hard

The versatility of latex casting rubber comes to the fore when it is used for dipping and coating purposes. Fabrics can be dipped in liquid latex to make them waterproof. The same coating can also insulate tools from electric hazards. Apart from the protection, the coat also improves grip and comfort during usage.

Latex rubber usually has a transparent or white finish. It can be colored using special paints and dyes as the regular ones tend to chip and crack easily. These can be used intrinsically by mixing in the latex rubber or be painted on the cured latex surface. Varying shades are available.

When it comes to storing the liquid latex casting rubbers, both the material and the molds/casts have a long life and extended durability. However, keep in mind that liquid latex has a fair amount of alcohol mixed in it and should be handled with care. It should be stored in airtight containers and kept away from sunlight.