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Curious About Colorit


#1

SCV–

I too blanched at the high cost of Colorit curing lights and decided
to investigate. After studying dental polymers and UV curing lights
extensively, I decided it was worth the risk to go the eBay route. I
acquired both a 40-watt tray (sold as a nail curing light), and a
generic high-powered, wand-type light.

What I have found in speaking with the folks at Gesswein
(distributors of Colorit in the US), and reviewing product literature
of the German company that makes it (on the web, but quite hard to
find), is that Colorit is basically a dental product adapted for the
jewelry market. The curing wavelengths are similar though not
identical to those required for the various dental inlay products. It
is important to understand that the wand light emits a narrower
wavelength band, and also must be used at very close distances to the
enamel when curing. The scientific papers I have read on this process
all indicate an optimal curing distance of 1 cm or less. Many of
these lights have short timers (20 or 40 seconds), but I have found
curing can be four or five times that long. In practice it is very
difficult to hold the wand close above the gooey enamel without
touching it for two to three minutes at a time. My solution was to go
with the UV nail curing light, which is far cheaper and, in my tests,
works just as well as the wand.

The biggest difference between Colorit and dental enamels is the
pigmentation, which impedes the curing by blocking light from
reaching the photoinitiators in the polymer. This also turns out to
be the biggest hang-up with using a cheap UV light, which can’t be
adjusted to match the different colors being cured. There are lots
of tricks to getting the process right, such as heating. If you have
the money, however, the unit Gesswein sells is “married” to the
Colorit product and may produce better or more predictable results
for you.

Colorit is a neat product that can be grinded and polished pretty
much as advertised once it’s cured. But one aspect I have discovered
is that, unlike Ceramit or Durenamel, it is really translucent. The
manufacturer’s literature specifies a depth of 0.8 millimeters as
the recommended minimum for opacity. Etching fine designs to this
depth, I have found, is a bit difficult without severe undercutting.

Castings and cloissone will work better. In my experience, shallower
recesses appear translucent or muddy


#2

John,

Thank you for that wealth of what an extensive review!
Of course I had a few more questions :wink:

Can Colorit hues be deepend with the addition of powdered pigments
like regular resin?

Is the Colorit sticky and viscous? Can it be thinned for easier
application?

Did you find it necesary to buy the special applicator and mixing
dish, etc.?

Does this material pose less breathing hazards than epoxy resin?

How do you remove Colorit from a piece?

Did you find it easier or harder to grind than glass enamel or
epoxy? Do you use 3M wheels to grind? Or hand sanding?

And lastly, is it possible to apply this material to a flat surface,
like for instance as a clear coat for protection, without it
cracking, popping or peeling off?

Thanks again for sharing.