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Air Bubbles in Epoxy


#1

Dear Jewelry Artists:

I recently began working with 2-ton epoxy (devcon) with my jewelry.
I have been using epoxy as a means to add color into bezels and
arrange found objects within it. I cannot seem to get rid of the tiny
air bubbles that seem to be everywhere. I tried applying layers
slowly and little by little. I even placed some of my bezeled pieces
into a vacuum used for eliminating air bubbles in the casting
investment. I am still having problems. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Sincerely,
Dawn


#2

I’ve seen and used pourable epoxies (Lord Above they reek!!). I
dipped some inlaid kitchen knife handles in the mixture to preserve
the handiwork.

I don’t know about bubble-free, but the less viscous liquid should
be easier to de-bubble under vacuum.


#3

Hi Dawn,

This is a tip from Claire Sanford who does quit a bit of resin
inlay.

  1. warm the surface with a portable hair dryer. You could actually
    do it under a warm lamp too. When the surface of the resin heats
    slightly, bubbles are forced to the surface.

  2. take out a pin and wait for the bubbles. Pop them as they rise.
    Wipe with a small towel each time. Paper towel is good for this.

Good luck!

-k

Karen Christians
M E T A L W E R X
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
http://www.metalwerx.com/
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio


#4

I used to know an artist that did an extensive line of epoxy inlaed
boxes and pins. She had developed special dye and resin mixtures w/
an epoxy company. When she would fill her black lids w/ epoxy, she
would gently pass a prestolite flame over the l;iqiud epoxy. this
gently heating brough bubbles to the surface where they popped or
could be sanded out.

Andy Cooperman


#5

Jane:

You’re on the right track with the vacuum, but the devcon stuff is
formulated to be a glue, not a clear encapsulation. This means it
isn’t built to release trapped air as easily as the epoxies that are
intended to be used for encapsulation. (In the ‘no free lunch’ file,
those epoxies aren’t quite as adhesive as devcon.) Try some of the
Colores clear epoxy from Rio. Use the thin hardener, and vacuum it,
both before application, and after, if the design is such that you
can.

I’ve done champlive work with epoxies similar to the colores
formulation for years, with good results. My technique is to
radically overfill the cells, then file and grind back to the surface
plane, then polish. I almost never get bubbles…except exactly in
the finish plane. 1mm above the line, nothing. 1 mm below, nothing.
Somehow, it knows. That happens very rarely, but the annoying thing
is it’s always in the exact wrong place. Proof of nothing so much as
my personal deity’s name is Murphy.

Hope this helped.
Brian


#6
Proof of nothing so much as my personal deity's name is Murphy. 

You need to channel your prayers through my particular patron saint,
St. Upid, who saves us all from the results of our own folly.

–Noel


#7

Just a note. you might look into an epoxy called HXTAL NYL-1. It is
used among other things to glue glass plates together for museum
displays. This adhesive is very pure, and does not yellow with age
and exposure to sunlight, as most others do. It will remain water
clear. I believe they specify it will not discolor for something like
100 years. Good for jewelry that is intended to last! It is a bit
pricey…

Todd Welti
Research Acoustician
Harman International Industries
Northridge, CA
(818) 895 8124
@Todd_Welti
TWelti@harman.com


#8

This may be a rudimentary, low-tech approach for what you are doing,
but I used to work a lot with Envirotex, a two-part resin epoxy. I
remember getting lots of little bubbles, but read in the instructions
that carbon dioxide will get rid of the bubbles. On little jewelry
pieces I would just blow on them and kill the bubbles – which is
probably not a great idea for larger or multiple pieces.(not great to
breathe in the fumes of that nasty stuff.) But then I started using a
blow dryer on a low setting from a slight distance, (don’t want an
epoxy mess!) about two to three minutes after pouring epoxy when all
the bubbles would have risen to the surface. It would smooth out the
epoxy and get rid of all bubbles. It worked like a charm – and I did
this for years. Don’t know if it will work with the type of epoxy you
are using, but it’s worth a try. Also, if you are submerging items
into epoxy which might trap bubbles, you might try doing this step
twice. Once before placing items in epoxy, to eliminate the
preliminary bubbles that show up just from pouring, then do it again
after placing items in epoxy that are caused by the disruption of the
epoxy.

Kelly Payne


#9

Todd,

you might look into an epoxy called HXTAL NYL-1. 

I’ve never heard of adhesive that goes by this moniker. Where do you
get it?

Janet


#10

Hxtal NYL1 Epoxy Adhesive, There are several sources on the web,
several with very detailed instructions on how to use and even get
rid of bubbles. I got mine from http://tinyurl.com/c9ct7