Jamie Hascall 4/16/08
At the Getty Forum, we briefly discussed the recent passing of Phillyseal R, the epoxy putty formerly known as Pliacre. We're quickly using up the last of our stock and are now in the hunt for an alternative. We're trying to gather a list of compounds that might work to fill this niche and would appreciate the input of the group.
In our hunt, we're starting by looking at the physical properties to find puttys that may work well, and then we can take the best and work with Conservation to Oddy test them. Thankfully, our current project involves wood objects that will be displayed in an open-air setting so problems that might show up with the Oddy test aren't a great factor. Thus we feel relatively safe using this as a testing ground for these various compounds.
The properties we're looking for include:
Water soluble in the mixing state Similar viscosity/mixing to Pliacre Resists slumping Sufficient compressive strength to use in same structural fashion Ability to pass the Oddy test Availability in varying quantities Price within reason
We obtained a sample pack of A+B brand epoxy putty from Conservation Support Systems and gave it a try. It comes in white, grey, and tan formulations. It has a fine grain and is a bit stickier, softer, and somewhat easier to mix than Pliacre. It doesn't seem to slump too badly and I feel it takes a little better impression than Pliacre did. The down side is that it currently comes in 1 lb. kits and thus is more expensive as the manufacturer lists the kit for $13.50. It also doesn't seem to have as much compressive strength as Pliacre. The sample we got came as two foil bagged bars of material and had an odd crusty exterior to the hardener bar. This was gradually absorbed as we mixed it and did not seem to have any negative effects overall. I wonder if the sample was on the old side. I don't have a good feel for its shelf life. Overall, this product worked reasonabley well and coud be an ok substitute if it passes Oddy and could be obtained in greater quantities with some sort of price break.
Another compound I've tried in the past is Sculp-Epox from Van Dyke's Taxidermy Supply. At that time, I didn't like it as well as Pliacre because it was a bit more fibrous and smelled worse. It looks like they've re-formulated it so it might be worth a try again.
Those are my first thoughts on this problem, I look forward to input from the group.
Thanks, Jamie Hascall Museum of New Mexico Santa Fe
Jamie, Thanks for bring this up- we started this discussion at the forum, but were limited on time to really talk it about it. At the Getty, were getting ready to run ODDY tests on around ten epoxies, ranging from putties to pastes. Nothing I would say would be a direct replacement for Phillyseal, but some seem promising. It's our hope that we'll end up with a few different products, giving us greater range, depending on the application. We should have our test results in June and we’ll let everyone know what we find out. In the mean time, it would be great to hear from others on any epoxy putties that they’ve been using and like (and tested). Jamie, could you let us know if your products pass? Thanks, BJ
Hello, I mentioned a product at the forum called All Game. Its a taxidermy product and has been oddy tested by the Royal Ontario Museum. It comes from the Cir-Cut Corporation 215-324-1000. It comes in two sizes, one litre containers (two ,naturally) and if I recall correctly , a gallon size container. If you care to know, its used by "award winning taxidermists".
Bradley Sanders 4/16/08
Hi all, Bradley Sanders here.... Thank you so much for researching for a Pliacre' replacement. I am very interested, because I use(d) it as a leveler for leveling and mounting stone sculpture, particularly heads. Is this a common use? I haven't had much opportunity to speak with other mountmakers, so I don't know what everybody is doing. It gets a little competitive on the commercial side of the field, and most of us are on the road all the time. I was very disappointed to miss the Getty Forum. Hopefully I can contribute and benefit here. I've been a mountmaker for 27 years, and I just love it!
norm scrivner 4/17/08
We've been using for a number of years (in exhibit fabrication) a product called apoxie sculpt from aves studios-available in 1000 pound kits (aprox 650$) directly from the manufacturer as well as 2 pound kits and smaller. They also have a similar product called apoxie clay which we like better for sculpting (has a bit of granularity to it). Apoxie sculpt comes in several colours, the choices on the clay are limited. I do not know if it would pass an oddy test as we've never used it inside a case with artifacts but it's characteristics are similar to what you describe with pliacre. (I believe Shelly Uhlir from the national Museum of the American Indian said at the meeting that they were testing it) They're on the web at .(and also on the supplies sources list in your forum packet). Norm Scrivner Pacific Studio
Jamie Hascall 4/17/08
Part of my goal in this discussion is to get product names and peoples opinions of their working qualities. It's the collective experience of this group that is so exciting. Yesterday, I spoke with a rep from Polymeric Systems Inc. which seems to have a promising looking product (Kneadatite A/B). She is going to send me information on their entire line and samples to try out. I'll keep people posted on what I find. I know that manufacturers will badge their products for resellers, and for all I know this may be the originating source of the A+B epoxy I spoke of earlier. Whenever possible, I think it is a good idea to try to work with the original source for reasons of price and technical assistance. I've always found that manufacturing reps are fascinated by what we do with these products and will often bend over backwards to help.
Keep em coming, Jamie
I thought that I had posted this but it didn’t seem to take. The computer confuses me sometimes. I called Philadelphia resins and spoke with TomHatten in Customer Something-or-other. Thinking of the possibility of our working as a collective buying group, I asked him what the minimum run would be for a load of Pliacre/Philly Seal R. He wasn’t certain but said that he would check with the Manufacturing Manager and call me back by next week. He also mentioned two other products that we might consider. The first was Permagile PG2089. He said that it has similar characteristics as does Pliacre but does not slump, has a crush strength of 7000 PSI, non- sagging and non-shrinking. It has the consistency of cheap peanut butter and is gritty. The other product is ITW Repair Compound. It is very similar to the PG2089 but is smoother, thinner and has crush strength of 8900PSI. Both are virtually non-exothermic. He said that someone at the Getty used it in the past and got it from Golten Marine.
Re: [mountmaking-forum] Re: Pliacre Alternatives Hi, The Field Museum has been testing materials for many years now the following is the test results for some of the epoxy puttys for use in-house for specific situations or projects. In no way is the Field Museum endorsing any of these products or approving any of these materials for your use. But the Conservation Department was kind enough to approve the information to be spread around. Here are our Oddy Test results and product information as follows: From Pam Gaible Apoxi Sculpt - 2 part Epoxy resin Manufacturer Aves, Hudson Wisconsin, 800 261 2837 Submitted for use as molding or casting material inside an exhibit case. Approved for limited use in 2005 - Material should not be in direct contact with an artifact. Oddy