Safe to use Alja-Safe® is the world’s first alginate that does not contain crystalline silica (a known carcinogen). Alja-Safe® is perfect for making single-use molds of the face, hands and other body parts. It captures detail better than other alginates, giving you a more accurate reproduction of your original.
Alja-Safe® is easy to use and cures quickly. It reproduces fine detail and makes an excellent temporary mold – good for one or two reproductions of any body part. You can then cast plaster, Matrix® NEO® (polymer modified gypsum) or Smooth-Cast® 300Q ultra-fast urethane resin into the mold to make a reproduction.
For making re-usable molds of any body part, use "Body Double" silicone rubber.
Preparation - Store and use Alja-Safe® in a dry environment at room temperature. Alja-Safe® powder may get warm in storage/shipping during the summer months which will cause the powder/water mixture to set too fast. To remedy, store Alja-Safe® in a cool area (60°C - 70°F or 15°C - 31°C) for 24 hours before using. Alja-Safe® has a limited shelf life and should be used as soon as possible. Do not allow moisture to come into contact with unused Alja-Safe®. Use only with adequate ventilation.
Practice: Make a mold of your thumb – make a mold of something small before going on to larger models. You’ll gain a lot of experience with a small test.
Applying A Release Agent – Alja-Safe® will not stick to most surfaces. When making a mold of the head, a release preparation is recommended to prevent mechanical lock to the hair. CHOLESTEROL Brand Hair Conditioner (available at most pharmacies) can be applied to hair-covered areas prior to applying Alja-Safe®. It can be washed out of the hair easily after use.
Measuring – Alja-Safe® is mixed 1 part water to 1 part powder by volume (1 cup + 1 cup, for example). You can vary the water level somewhat to change consistency of the mixture. Less water will make Alja-Safe® thicker. More water will make the mixture thinner and easier to pour. Be careful…too much water will may result in the mixture not curing.
Water Quality – Water that has a high mineral content (calcium, phosphate, etc.) may cause any alginate to become "lumpy" or not set properly. A small-scale test is recommended prior to mixing large amounts.
Temperature Of The Water - At 80° F / 27° C, Alja-Safe® will have a working time of 8 minutes and a demold time of 10 minutes. Warmer water will cause the material to cure faster (less working time). Colder water will give a longer working time and slower demold time. For best results, sift Alja-Safe® powder into water and mix as directed.
Mixing – Alja-Safe® can be hand mixed, but best results will be obtained using a power drill with a mixer attachment. Attach a Jiffy Mixer or Turbine Mixer to a power drill and mix for one minute (depending on volume) to a gel-like consistency – smooth without any powder lumps. Jiffy mixers are available at many hardware stores. Turbine Mixers will yield the best mix and are available from Smooth-On or your Smooth-On distributor.
Alja-Safe® can be poured around an object or applied to vertical surfaces.
Pouring Around An Object - Once mixed, Alja-Safe® can be poured around the hand, foot, fingers or other model in a fixed position inside a container. Suspend the model just above the bottom of the container and have at least ½" (1.27 cm) space between the model and the side walls of the container.
For Best Results: Apply a thin coating of Alja-Safe® to the surface of the model by smoothing a small amount of material on by hand. Pour Alja-Safe® into the container at the lowest point and let the material rise around the model. Make sure your model has a good clearance distance from the bottom and sides of the container. Keep your model still until the Alja-Safe® sets up. You will know the Alja Safe has set when it is firm and no longer gel-like.
For Vertical Application – You may want to experiment with the amount of water added to Alja-Safe® to find a thicker consistency that is right for vertical surface application. For example, some customers mix 1 part water to 1.5 parts Alja-Safe®. Work Alja-Safe® into model detail with your hands and let cure.
Applying A Support Shell - Once the alginate cures, a support shell will be necessary to support the alginate mold. "Gypsona" bandages are ideal for this purpose, and are available from Smooth-On or your Smooth-On distributor.
Casting Into The Mold - All alginate molds will deteriorate quickly. It is recommended that you cast into the mold within 4 hours following demold. Materials commonly cast into alginates include Matrix NEO (polymer modified gypsum, available from Smooth-On), plaster, wax, clay and very fast urethane resins (such as Smooth-Cast 300Q). For Soft "Skin-Like" Castings – You can cast Dragon Skin 10 FAST soft silicone rubber into Alja-Safe® molds to make realistic hands, limbs, etc.
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