I ordered the 1 pound kit of Clear from Alumilite, it arrived today and I wanted to expriment with it. Put 30.0 grams of B in a cup and added 30.0 grams of A. Started a timer and began mixing. Mixed until clear and began brushing a thin coat onto a 10" x 10" square of maple using a foam brush. I noticed the cup of resin getting uncomfortably warm. I was then going to thicken the coat by pouring more resin out and spreading it around but I could not pour it, the top of the resin had hardened to around 1/4" thick.
I looked at my timer and less than 5 minutes had elapsed since I began mixing. The cup holding the resin melted a little from the heat. After 90 minutes, I looked at the maple and no leveling had occured; all brush strokes clearly visible. I did this in my garage where the temperature was around 92.
So, finally, my question: Why did I get such a fast reaction?
Anybody? Phase of the moon? Cat hairs on my piano?
I've pressure cast a few small items successfully, but I really have to move quickly. I'm guessing I'm getting around 3 - 4 minutes of open time, which is half of what I was expecting. For now, I'm blaming the quick set times on high ambient temperatures and hoping for more open time once the weather cools down.
I know about Clear Slow; I wonder if I can expect half the advertised open time with it as well.
I was hoping someone with more experience with clear would have chimed in by now....my experience is with the RC-3 resin, I've never poured clear....I can tell you this much....
Yes the heat and humidity does have an effect on speeding up the curing process, at least with what I have found with RC-3. I have no reason, at this time, to doubt that the heat and humidity or at least the heat if you live in an arid environment such as the South West portion of the United States has an effect on accelerating the curing process with the clear...particularly if your pouring in a hot garage.
Try this to slow down the curing process.....Put the "A" and "B" sides in your refrigerator for aprox. 30 mins. prior to pouring....this will give you an extra 30 to 60 seconds of work time, just keep in mind when you cool the resin , you have to pre heat the mold for a proper cure.
Hope this helps and apologies for the long delay in responding.
Sorry, I somehow missed this one - I've worked with Clear a lot so yes as Brian said, the problem was the high heat in your working environment. Heat is what you apply to get the Clears to cure faster - I've done this myself when I needed it to finish curing sooner and not be tacky (Clear is usually tacky/sticky feeling until it hits full cure in about 7 days) so I can handle/demold it.
In addition to chilling side A and B, you'll need to make sure your working environment is also around 70 degrees or close to it whenever possible. If the cup was melting then the Clear was getting way too hot, way too fast. I have a plastic cup that I had leftover Clear in from two different days and neither leftover pour melted the plastic. Even the RC-3 should not have melted the cup and I use both plastic cups and RC-3 all the time without the cups getting hot enough to melt. I have yet to have either RC-3 or the Clear to get too hot to be comfortable holding the cup in my hand so it's definitely a heat problem as that's not a normal reaction for the Clear.
Try keeping your working area as cool as you possibly can and chill the resin (don't forget to warm the mold like Brian said) and see if that helps you out. Let us know how things turn out and feel free to ask for more help if you need it.
Ah that is great that it's now working good for you and you've found a better working temperature. There's nothing like knowing what the problem is to be able to fix it and you just have to pick it apart to figure it out and sometimes having other brains to pick helps.