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Life Casting

CONEY ISLAND ALGINATE

Coney Island Alginate is a quick setting mold making material used in both dental prosthetics casting and in body and face casting.  Working time is from 2-7 minutes.  It is made from seaweed and has no negative impact upon the skin. Body castings can be done directly with alginate without using a separator. Alginate is usually used for a single mold. It tears easily, and within hours becomes brittle and useless. Castings with alginate molds should be done immediately.

CONEY ISLAND ALGINATE SLOW-SET 
Warm-water friendly alginate stays workable for seven to eight-minutes!

Coney Island Alginate Slow-Set is tougher than the faster setting variation, Coney Island Alginate Regular Set.

If you are mixing large quantities of Coney Island Alginate (1/2 lb. or more), we recommend that you use an electric mixer.  Since there is a short working period of time available, quickly getting the mixture to a smooth consistancy is important.  Whatever proportion of Coney Island Alginate to water you choose for your purposes, mix the material very thoroughly until there is a smooth consistency throughout the mixture.  Water temperatures of approx. 70º F are recommended, but cooler water can be used.  Warm water is more comfortable for the model and less likely to cause the goosebumps that might distort the mold.

After approximately 7-8 minutes the alginate will set.

Exact curing time will depend upon a combination of the thickness of the mixture of Coney Island Alginate and water, and how thickly that mixture is applied to the model.  The thicker the mixture, the faster the cure. The thicker the application, the faster the cure.
A large quantity of Coney Island Alginate prepared as a thick paste (1-part water to l -part alginate by volume) will set-up in seven minutes.  Less "pasty" preparations will yield a longer working time.  Once the Coney Island Alginate is set, it will continue to grow firmer and tougher over an additional few minutes.  However, it is not necessary to wait until it firms-up completely before applying a support shell (such as Gypsona Plaster Bandages.)  This may be done as soon as the Coney Island Alginate sets.  By the time the support shell has been applied and the bandages have set, the Coney Island Alginate beneath will be quite firm.

The seven-eight minute working time seems to be ideal for the majority of artists who work with alginate.  If you find that this is more working time than necessary, simply prepare the Coney Island Alginate and water mixture, and wait a minute or so before application to the model.
NOTE: A “thicker” consistency of Coney Island Alginate and water mixture
means a consistency similar to mayonnaise, with barely any flow at all.  When
applied to a face or a head, this consistency will not tend to drip or sag.

CONEY ISLAND ALGINATE REGULAR SET 
Working time:2 1/4 minutes (approx.)
Water Temperature:Cold
Proportions of mix:
Approximately 1 part Coney Island Alginate Reg. Set (or slightly more); to 1 part water by volume, for a relatively thick but still slightly flowing consistency.
Approximately 2 parts Coney Island Alginate to 3 parts water, by volume, for the more liquid consistency required for a container-type poured mold.
Note: This variation in the proportions is a matter of personal preference and does not significantly alter the working-time.

Mixing: Mix to a smooth consistency.  If you are mixing more than very small amounts, use a Jiffy Mixer or other power mixing device to blend a smooth consistency as quickly as possible. The working time is very short.

Developed primarily for hand molds and molds of the interior of the mouth.

WORKING WITH CONEY ISLAND ALGINATE
Alginate is a seaweed derived powder that mixes with water to form a paste.
Since pot life is so short, mix only enough to complete a single moldiing project.

The alginate is brushed directly onto the model over the area being copied until a substantial layer is built up.  Mix the alginate with only enough water to make it creamy rather than runny.  Be sure the mixture is consistant throughout.  It is best to use a power mixer in order to mix quickly and thoroughly.

Coney Island Alginate will begin setting immediately.  A support mold must be built.  The support shell can be applied almost immediately after the alginate has been placed on the model.

The most efficient method to build a support shell uses plaster bandages.  Wet the bandages and apply them in layers until a strong shell has been built that completely encases the alginate.

Carefully remove the support shell and the mold and prepare the casting immediately.
Within hours the alginate will begin to shrink and become brittle.

Castings into Coney Island Alginate are most commonly done with plaster.  The moisture content of the material creates problems with resins and RTV’s. Subsequent copies, or multiple copies, can be made by casting plaster into the alginate and building a second mold with latex, or a two part RTV, that then becomes the master mold to replace the alginate mold.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Ideal proportions of water-to-alginate vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and with personal preference. The proportions we recommend for Coney Island Alginate represent what we feel yields the optimum working consistency.  However, in order to determine what proportions will produce the consistency you personally prefer to use, you should experiment with different proportions.