Tips & Tricks
It is quite easy to get started with A1 and the first results will be impressive. After some time you will discover more possibilities which will also raise new questions. In this sections of our website, we will give you answer to the most asked questions.
How much A1 do I need for this project?
We use the following calculation. When applying 1 layer of A1 of 1 mm thickness you will use 1.75 kg A1 per m2. In a mould, you normally work with a first layer of 2 mm. Next, we advise you to use 3 layers of triaxial fibre. In order to achieve this, you will have to apply 4 layers of A1 of 1 mm. Normally in a mould, we thicken A1 for the first layer (Gel coat) with Thix A. Make sure this layer is hardened before applying the next layers, and use one layer of A1 between your hardened first layer and the first layer of Triaxial fibre in order to make a proper bonding.
As an example needed for a project of 5 m2:
- 2 mm 1st layer
- 4 layers of 1 mm A1 in order to apply the 3 layers of triaxial fibre
Total 6 mm A1 multiplied by 1.75 kg multiplied by 5m2 = 52.5 kg A1 (= 17.5 A1 liquid and 35 kg A1 powder).
Be aware that this is an indication and not a general rule. For 1 litre of A1, you will need 1.75 kg of A1 material.
I want to paint my A1 object
A1 can easily be painted afterwards and for indoor use we see little problems. However, for OUTDOOR use, not all paint systems seem to hold over a longer period which sometimes gives problems. That's why we advise you to do testing yourselves before you decided to sell your A1 object commercially. Because there are that many different kinds of paint systems it is impossible for us to give you individual advice. However, we can recommend TRIMETAL PERMACRYL from Akzo Nobel as a paint system that works very well on A1 and has proven itself over the longer period in outdoor use.
A1 objects need to be completely dry before being painted. We advise a minimum of 5 days drying at room temperature.
Use a sponze for a smoother surface
Using a sponge is an excellent and easy method for getting a more smooth surface after laminating.
For the best result:
- Only use a little of water (moist not wet!). To much water will make the layer of A1 waker.
- Start using the sponge at the moment the curing of A1 starts. After an hour the A1 will become too hard to use a sponge and other sanding materials are advised.
- Be gently at the beginning of the curing process.
Light spots / color differences after releasing from mould
If you appear some light spots, colour difference or "watermarks" in your product it might help to have an early demoulding. Due water evaporation this can happen. In some cases, for example, when using wood or foam or laminate a thick layer, the water cannot leave the product easy on the surface side. A fast demoulding gives you also the opportunity to have several, up to 8, demouldings a day.
Is A1 suitable for food and drinks?
A1 is not suitable for food and drinks.
Q: We would like to make an object and place it into an aquarium but want to be sure that it is 100% safe.
A: A1 objects are NOT suited to be placed in permanent water. Temporarily water, such as rainwater is no a problem as long as the A1 object has the change to dry and is coated with a sealer.
Releasing from a gypsum mould
A1 in combination with gypsum is a challenge because both products will adhese very easily. An option that might work, but please test it very very carefully yourself is to use shellac as a barrier.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shellac). After applying the Shellac, you need a release agent, now you can use a solvent to your choice like Acoms, liquid soap, linseed oil or Vaseline. Important in your choice is if you want to paint it afterwards because some of these release agents do not work well with paint.
I'm looking for transparent A1
The A1 resin mixed with the A1 powder results in a non-transparent end product, so it not possible to create a transparent A1 end product.