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When encapsulating objects with epoxy, System Three cannot make any guarantees on the success of the application. Every application is different and the outcome is heavily dependent on the application process. We strongly recommend doing small scale testing of your application process before scaling up to your final project or critical objects to be encapsulated. With all that being said we have gained experience with these applications and can offer some tips to help you hone in your process.
The most common issues when encapsulating objects with epoxy are; 1. a runaway exothermic reaction 2. entrained air bubbles 3. cratering or fisheyes on the epoxy surface 4. objects floating or settling in the epoxy or 5. discoloration of the object.
1. When pouring epoxy in depth, it is prudent to be using a casting epoxy like MirrorCast or RiverCast and staying within the maximum pour sizes. If you attempt to use a coating epoxy in a deep pour, the epoxy will get much too hot as it cures. Not only can this be dangerous, but it will yellow, shrink, and in extreme cases can crack the epoxy. Why did my Epoxy resin mix get hot?
2. Any porous object will release air into the epoxy once covered. The best way to avoid this will be to seal the objects with a thin coat of epoxy before encapsulating, This is particularly important with stones or fabrics. How can I avoid or remove bubbles in an epoxy application?
3. When pouring a flood coat of epoxy, the best way to avoid cratering and fisheyes in the finish is applying over a flat, level, sanded (150 grit) and clean surface. This can be achieved after you have encapsulated your objects. Allow the epoxy to cure then sand the surface flat before pouring your flood coat at 4oz per square foot.
4. Ultimately every application will be different. Testing your application techniques to ensure the objects stay in place while the epoxy cures are recommended before attempting the final application.
5. We have found that when coating fabrics or organics (flowers). The epoxy can react with the pigments and change the colors. It is prudent to do some testing to ensure you will be happy with the final look.