I'm hoping to get some advice on my issue with molds.
I'm frequently casting 3" tall cylinders using eco epoxy and "TRANS 40 Translucent Silicone Rubber" for molds.
My issue is with molds not lasting as long as I'd like them to. Currently I can only get about 5-6 castings per mold. After that silicone starts to slowly dry out, stick to the resin and create very foggy surface. Since I'm after a glossy cylinder, I find myself glazing each piece to recreate glossiness the original casting had which is very tedious and time consuming. I have to remake new molds every month which is becoming very expensive and not sustainable for my production.
I must point out I do all the usual cleaning/storing/mold release spraying routine that's advisable for the molds. I never pull too hard or use heat gun on them, but none of this has helped me with prolonging their lives.
Is this a normal life span for a mold made with this rubber?
I have heard, that epoxies are generally bad for silicone because they pull out natural oils out of it and wondering if that could be the case.
Will casting with polyurethane be more gentle on the molds?
Future/Pledge floor care finish is a great clear coat to use on your masters or molds to ensure a clean casting.....I'm thinking that this will also prolong the life of the mold. You can either brush it or spray it on w/ an air brush. The clay that you might use to make your master mold can be used over and over again, as the Future/Pledge does not seem to harm it.
I have not tried Future/Pledge but I think I need to as it would be easier to grab for me as I have some of it on hand. There also is a silicone oil that you can use to renew the molds too that I think you just leave in/on the mold to help with that drying out. I say try both and see which one works best for you.