bubbles and investment


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Posted by Vince Zahnle on June 17, 19100 at 23:26:40:

I make jewelry by lost wax investment casting, in small flasks, up to 4" X 6". Metals I use are bronze, brass, sterling and pewter (brittania). I've been using a technique to reduce bubble adhesion on the wax, which has helped casting quality a lot. Prior to pouring the liquid investment into the flask, I squirt some common liquid dish detergent into the flask and fill it with water, swirl it around, then dump the detergent water down the drain and pour the investment into the flask. As the investment comes up, it pushes a harmless blue detergent scum ahead of it which doesn't hurt anything. A surfactant (like dish detergent) makes water "wetter," which lowers the surface tension. Whether this makes the bubbles or the wax more slippery, or both, I don't know, but it's very cheap and easy and it works for me (a nice combination of attributes!).

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