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Ceramit experiences?


#1

Hi,

I bought the Ceramit Sampler set, but are struggling to get
reasonable results with it. Mixing it 2:1 as per instructions,
letting
it sit for a couple of hours and then applying it to silver test
pieces. (And then in the oven at 250F for 30 mins). Regardless how
thin or thick I apply it, I get bubbles appearing, I’ve tried
cleaning
the pieces with alcohol, letting it sit on the piece before curing,
etc. I have considered room temperature curing, but I worry about
dust/particles settling on the surface over that period of time.

Has anyone had any success with it?

Cheers,
Jakob Schmidt


#2

Jakob:

Have you tried vacuum degassing it? (Stick it in your investing
vacuum chamber, pump it down to vacuum for a few minutes, and then
apply it after releasing the vacuum. Essentially: suck the bubbles
out.) Many epoxies have trouble releasing trapped air. A bit of
brute force by way of the vacuum pump works wonders.

I used it years ago (like 20) and thought it was OK, but I switched
over to Rio’s Colores before moving on to the custom formulated
stuff I use now. My memory is that it was a bit thick and sticky, and
a bit un- predictable in terms of hardening times and ultimate
hardness. (Then again, I was 15-16, and working in my parent’s
basement at the time. Perhaps the variability wasn’t entirely the
Ceramit’s fault…)

Regards,
Brian Meek.


#3

I’ve had moderate success with ceramit. It’s not always very
cooperative. But Ceramit (and similar products) work best with
multiple very thin layers in my experience. The instructions say
that, and you need to take it seriously.

also, in my experience, 250 degrees is too hot. I find I get bubbles
at that temp too. Try 200, or even 190 or so. It still cures, almost
as quickly, and with less trouble with bubbles.

also, be sure the metal is very clean before applying.

The main problem I have is if I’m using it to try and repair
vitreous (fired) enamel on something that cannot take the heat to
actually re-enamel it properly. The resin products never quite match,
and I’ve yet to find a way to nicely level it and give it the
equivalent of a refired gloss as one would do with fired enamel. You
can smooth it, but it just doesn’t want to polish back to a high
gloss again with anything I’ve found…

Maybe someone else has had better luck?

Peter


#4

I’ve had pretty good results by - mixing as per instructions,
painting on, then leaving the oven door open, turning the oven on to
the lowest setting possible and hanging the piece so that it gets
the head without actually being in the oven.

I think the instructions are wrong with the temperature, seems to
require much lower than stated (otherwise you get bubbles)

Seems to work better with the transperant ones rather than opaque
(transperate turned out quite hard and glass like, opaque was more
like rubber)

Room temperature curing just doesn’t quite seem to do it (although I
haven’t tried this in the middle of an aussie summer)

Hope this helps.


#5

Hi Jakcob,

Years ago I worked for Paul Morelli Design Inc. and we used Ceramit.
Flat surfaces are more difficult than curved because of surface
tension and liquids. Thinning the mixture is essential as with any
coating that needs to flow smoothly over a surface. We used to have
a clean room and totally wipe down with top job before coating began.
Move slow in the room. Definitely bake. Good luck. This is one of
those things that everyone thinks is simple, like painting a room,
but doing it well is an art.

Robert Oppecker
Williamsburg, VA


#6

I’ve used ceramit in a couple of recurring projects for the past
15-20 years and have success most of the time.

I find that when you purchase the catalyst if the inside cap shows
leakage of a yellowing color, which means its leaking and older, the
results are iffy at best and the shelf life if it works without
flaws, will be very short (month or two_). I’ve sent back or thrown
away half of what I purchased over the years…I’ve also found that
I get anywhere between 3 months and 6 months (avg 4 months) use
before bubbles or “oil slicks” begin to appear. Then I either replace
the color (if it looks like its been thickening) or the catalyst. Or
both…I suppose its a judgement call that I can’t communicate in an
email… But usually I replace the catalyst.

For the half dozen times that I use a few drops of the product (over
a 3-4 month period), I have to buy new as the shelf life is terribly
short., even if you put on an inert cap of nitrogen on the
top…refrigerating might be an option but I’ve gotten it tamed
somewhat and am leaving it at that. Besides, it would need to be at
ambient temp to use and with a memory like mine, I would be set back
a day waiting for it to warm up!.. But as soon as the surface comes
out flawed on a piece, I open my spare backup and discard either the
catalyst and/or the color. I also error on the side of lower temp
with a little longer time.

Bottom line is when I see bubbles or other flaws, I discard and
start with fresh…It sounds like your product layed on the shelf too
long. And I don’t wait a couple of hours before applying it. I
measure it on the scale in a much larger volume than I use (I
probably use ten little drops avg) And I think the mix ratio is 3:2
not 2:1. So I put a tiny mixing container on the scale…zero it
out…then add 3 grams clear catalyst. I have my mixing sticks ready,
and add exactly 2 grams color…mixing within 5 seconds after the
weight reads 5 grams…(careful not to overfill or you start over or
have some complicated quick figurin’). The two ingredients coagulate
almost immediately, so I work quickly… I mix it thoroughly for about
2 minutes and immediately use it. I baggie it between coats so it
stays thin. The thinner evporates so quickly. And I apply in two or
three layers, lengthening the oven time for each layer. 220 degrees
F. for 20-45 minutes. Hope this helps.

John


#7
  1. look for the manufacture date of the catalyst and colours- if
    they are more than two years old return it or contact the company -
    provided you recently, meaning in the last 30 days bought the stuff.

  2. a bamboo skewer, or toothpick wiped between introductions will
    burst any bubbles that are created from applying it too thickly. Not
    vibrating or otherwise ensuring there are no bubbles in the
    application is a mistake,iF a film forms over the surface before you
    have vibrated the piece you can attempt to remove it and refill- it
    is a learned technique to apply the material without making swirling
    motions in the resin or otherwise, anything but a directed,
    deliberate application ( in one direction with no back and forth, no
    brushing, no attempts at marbelizing or swirling colurs together, and
    no paartially mixed material applied to the piece).

Once you get it right it looks like enamel was applied without having
to invest in a kiln- however if you are using a lot of colour in your
pieces, it may be wiser to go with a used kiln off of an auction site
and some vitreous enamel- the kiln is always resellable if you decide
it is not for you as long as you are maintaing it and keeping the
insside of the kiln clean and and the exterior in good condition and
calibrated correctly…rer


#8

First of all I have never used Ceramit.

Having said that I have lots of experience with epoxies.

Bubbles: vacuum the mix and when you mix do it in slow motion so as
not to incorporate air. All things used in the process should be
absolutely spotless.

Vacuum again after you apply it to your piece.

Dust: use a bell jar or a glass, whatever, to protect the piece while
it cures.

HTH
KPK


#9

Which types are you having problems with-the transparent or the
opaques? Are you filling in cells like cloisonee or large flat
surfaces? You can layer the transparent colors over white opaque
matte enamel (paint or glass). I used to air brush Ceramit onto brass
pins, some times primed with white auto paint (Thomsons) so the
transparent colors really showed. By building up thin layers I never
had any air bubble problems and got brilliant colors. Prior to
spraying they were steam cleaned in a steriilzer-the kind dental
tools are sanitized in - can’t remember the name. I used to cure my
pins in an old turkey roasting oven-covered to keep dust out. Just
be very carefull and use Ceramit in a well ventilated area due to the
Benzene in the product.

Good luck!


#10

Ick, no. That stuff was awful. It smelled like the room was being
invaded by Sharpie markers, cured poorly, and was probably so toxic
it is still in my lungs 6 years later. Nothing I did with it came
out well. It was the reason I bought a powder coating system.

A.
Cry Baby Designs


#11

Jakob

First of all you must use 60% Catalyst/40% Color as it says on the
box (You can go to 50/50 -NEVER 2:1). Mix it thoroughly but slowly,
as bubbles will appear if you mix quickly. Let it settle for a few
minutes before you apply it to let the mixture settle out additional
air bubbles. Also apply two thinner layers (paint a thin layer, bake
and then apply another thin layer and bake again). Thick layers tend
to create bubbles. I’ve had better success baking at 225o for 45
minutes (I hope you are not using a gas oven as Ceramit warns
against it!).

I hope this helps! (By the way, acetone cleans off the excess after
baking).

Jon Seidel
Vice President, Product Engineering
Tache USA


#12

Thanks for all the replies. It sounds like I may be better of
learning ‘proper’ enameling. (It did sound too good to be true) While
I make that decision, I will try out some of the tips provided.

Thanks again,
Jakob