A beginner Question

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hellz manik

Active Member
Hi everyone, I have a question for all the experts out there...

1. Foam latex,urethane and silicone

I was curious about each one.How long before each deteriorates? Or does one last longer than the other. What about maintenance ? Preservation? I want to make sure I have my facts straight and this is the right place to go.

Thank you everyone!
 

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hellz manik

Active Member
Hi thanks for answering my questions buddy! No i am not interested in making any kind of molds at all. I just wanted to know, the longevity and maintenance of each one. Ive heard so many different stories, i just wanted to know the facts.
 

Propsjonnyb

Well-Known Member
Ok here goes -- liquid latex , the raw material , once set will start to break down, will usually take some years, but that's why so many early items props, masks etc have not survived , as materials advance so does their life. All rubber material and derivatives will breakdown eventually , over a period of 5 to 10 years , stuff made in the 50 's and 60's is starting to go as are items from the 70's and some 80's , foam silicon for masks breaks down because prop makers , production departments, studios etc don't really build an item to last , thet are there for the moment ... even if you look at any franchise film and recognisable items , they almost allways make new and don't really try and re-use old items . I have things I made when I first started collecting when I was 12 , that have completely perished and not been recoverable I'm always checking , as the days and years go past , the state of my rubber items and try to do what I can to stave off the inevitable .
 

NormanF

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I have heard Urethane rubber has the longest shelf life. I went to a seminar by the local SmoothOn distributor and one of the guys said he saw some molds from WWII that were in so-so condition.
 

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Mbisjr23

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I have been in the industry for quite a while so I do know a little about this. Foam latex does not last. It will shrink, dry out and fall to pieces rather quickly compared to the others. Urethane is nice. Depending on exposure it can last years. Will shrink and discolor eventually. Silicone is the best, can last longer than urethane. Shrinkage rate is roughly half of urethane. Each has an advantage in certain applications but just in general longevity, silicone urethane then latex foam
 

red4

Sr Member
My rubber Jurassic Park T-rex from Kenner doesn't have a single crack or dry spot, and I can't find any stressed areas that suggest shrinkage, nor does there seem to be any fading. Granted, I don't really know if it's made of rubber, I just use it as a generic term. The point is, whatever Kenner used, it seems really durable. It should also be taken into account that it's only about 20 years old.
 

NormanF

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My rubber Jurassic Park T-rex from Kenner doesn't have a single crack or dry spot, and I can't find any stressed areas that suggest shrinkage, nor does there seem to be any fading. Granted, I don't really know if it's made of rubber, I just use it as a generic term. The point is, whatever Kenner used, it seems really durable. It should also be taken into account that it's only about 20 years old.
Lead and asbestos.
 

Don Z

New Member
I have been in the industry for quite a while so I do know a little about this. Foam latex does not last. It will shrink, dry out and fall to pieces rather quickly compared to the others. Urethane is nice. Depending on exposure it can last years. Will shrink and discolor eventually. Silicone is the best, can last longer than urethane. Shrinkage rate is roughly half of urethane. Each has an advantage in certain applications but just in general longevity, silicone urethane then latex foam
i second that!
 

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Mbisjr23

Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My rubber Jurassic Park T-rex from Kenner doesn't have a single crack or dry spot, and I can't find any stressed areas that suggest shrinkage, nor does there seem to be any fading. Granted, I don't really know if it's made of rubber, I just use it as a generic term. The point is, whatever Kenner used, it seems really durable. It should also be taken into account that it's only about 20 years old.
A lot of the toys Kenner and other companies like that use a hot pour vinyl rubber. Very durable but needs to be cooked at high temps and nasty out gasses while curing. Newer stuff like that is also produced with properly vulcanized rubber latex, not foam latex. If you did a typical latex slush cast that cooked it for 3 days at around 90-110 degrees it's can last a long time. That's how they make swimmers caps. Unfortunaly proper post curing materials becomes an issue in small shops and garages because of fumes and lack of proper equipment
 

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