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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
by mixing a two part expanding polyurethane foam and pouring that
into a silicone mold that was taken from a stack of flatter stones much
like stepstone, i created a foam look-a-like of that "wall".

the foam i used had a very hard density of 16lbs - rock hard. once that was
dry i pulled it from the silicone mold, and cut the bottom and back flat. with
an air gun, i blew off any dust that was created. then by using e-glass fiberglass
cloth and a marine epoxy i covered the foam cliff. by using colors i was able to
make a natural stone wall with out the hassle of mortar or cement. minus the
headache, i found this a much better way to build realistic hardscapes for the
larger vivariums we are building.

I would on the next part, just spray or paint on the resin bypassing the taping
or clothing as it was too much work, much like paper mache, but worse IMO.

This is the method we used on a few larger vivariums were it was better then using
cement as the hardscape material only because it's lighter, and waterproof. coloring
it was tricky IMO and mixing it with milled peat and at times, sand or leaf litter didn't
alter the look enough to prove worth while.

There are many types of resins, ways to use it and techniques. we have tried the
fiberglass|epoxy as well as polyester and found both good but the polyester would
be better to use if the project took more then a few hours or layers were needed.
Also found that some of the epoxy sealers we worked with were just as good on their own
and have changed many of our product lines to using this instead of a no-voc cement
sealer, although both are still on our shelves...

one of the cages that we got from CagesByDesign, a 60"L x 30"H x 30"W with hood
is slated to use this method instead of cement to create it's hardscape in sections for
easy take down when needed. this isn't a natural product at all, but for it's ease and flexibility
of use and strengths, options i'd have to say it's worth it. working with the resin on wire
mesh cloth is super easy too. once the epoxy and polyester are very durable from what
i can see. and casting it should be simple if anyone likes molds.

hope this helps anyone that is still trying to work with any foam construction or wants to
build big with out the hassles of rock work.

Sincerely,

Deven Nicholson
Terra5Designs | 925-465-1295
http://www.Terra5Designs.com
Ensuring Animal Husbandry through Education and Habitat Design.
 

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Common Deven we want a pic!!! :)

Luke
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
visit my site...i'm still shopping for a camera - again, but there will be photos there under the keyword Resin.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Where do you get the 2-part polyurethane foam from? Also do you need to use a releasing agent to help the silcone mold come apart from the dried foam? I was thinking of doing something like this using great stuff along with the latex rock molds that people use when building a train layout. The only problem is removing the dried Great stuff from the mold when cured. Not sure if you need a releasing agent for this or not.

You could just line the mold with some platis wrap but not sure if this would work. Any suggestions on what to use?

As far as using the fiberglass resin to seal it or any clear coat. It it dries to shiney or glossy take some steal wool to it and sand it down. This is supposed to dull the finish tremendously. You this way you dont have to put sand in the resin before apply or after.

Another thing you could do over great stuff or any other type of foam product is to put on a couple layers of tile grout first. Just make sure you water down the first layer of tile grout to help thin it out.


Mike P.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
scorpion1971 said:
Where do you get the 2-part polyurethane foam from? Also do you need to use a releasing agent to help the silcone mold come apart from the dried foam? I was thinking of doing something like this using great stuff along with the latex rock molds that people use when building a train layout. The only problem is removing the dried Great stuff from the mold when cured. Not sure if you need a releasing agent for this or not.

You could just line the mold with some platis wrap but not sure if this would work. Any suggestions on what to use?

As far as using the fiberglass resin to seal it or any clear coat. It it dries to shiney or glossy take some steal wool to it and sand it down. This is supposed to dull the finish tremendously. You this way you dont have to put sand in the resin before apply or after.

Another thing you could do over great stuff or any other type of foam product is to put on a couple layers of tile grout first. Just make sure you water down the first layer of tile grout to help thin it out.


Mike P.
great stuff is bad, work with a good quality pond expanding sealer foam - Beckett is 100% non toxic.

the two parts are from a company here that i get my supplies from. there are two types, poly and normal urethane. poly gets harder, i mean hard! but you need to work fast.

theonly mold release i use is a spray wax. the idea you had would stick to the foam or resins. also, i like mixing organic stuff into things, but yes sanding it also helps.

tile grout is not good for herps, amphibs mostly as it's a higher pH then they can handle. if you want something like that, use portland and a non-VOC sealer.
 
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