Stabilizing Turquoise: Ahhh a subject of controversy. I,va been
pursuing the holy grail of this subject for two years. Tested every
method talked about on this Web site. Epoxy 330, Epacon products,
every epoxy combination you can think of. Vacuum chambers, heated
vacuum chambers, high pressure injection, soaking and a few other
Hi-tech methods now in the testing phase. Bottom line a sasses of
about 97% saturation, which is not acceptable.
I did discover that Turquoise without the matrix or mother rock was
easily and 100% saturated, color stability and a workable. Turquoise
that had partial matrix was the 97% that was not attainable in terms
of a marketable product. I personally prefer the matrix mix.
The issue with the mother rock(Matrix) is that it is made up of a
sediment that is clay like and has micro molecule imbedded within the
clay, hence the heat drying removes most of the H2o. But to expel
100% you need to vacuum under heat to get the max. effect. Not every
one has the equipment.
Some of the issues with using acetone or any solvent based system is
the voids within the Turquoise that do not get fully saturated with
the epoxy during the evaporation phase also enhancement of the
natural color is less that satisfactory.
Another issue with one component epoxy systems. They normally don't
have a low enough viscosity for saturation if you should come across
one that has a low V when you soak the turquoise it may get 100%
within the mineral, but as soon as you heat the epoxy the viscosity
drops so low (like water) a percentage of epoxy drains out and again
you left with 85 to 90% saturation.
The viscosity of a two component system are not low enough to
saturate. You typically get 75% or less.
The systems used to stabilize dinosaur bones is solvent based, again
to many micro voids to get the best results.
I,va worked with chemists, collage chemistry departments for
analysis of the Pro. stabilized products and Mfg. of epoxy systems.
The End result is two fold.
Match the appropriate chemical that has the characteristics of
low viscosity, heat treated UV stable, 85D hardness and no drain out.
Invest in equipment that can pressurize, vacuum and heat the
product under a strict procedure of multy steps.
Bottom line: This can be achieved on a small scale if done wisely,
lots of patients and economically.
Stay tuned to the: TURQUOISE MAN