Liquid Latex Vis-a-vis Polyurethane and Silicone
Mold making and life casting is a beautiful art that requires intricate skill as well as the best materials to achieve artistic quality results. Different artists use different methods and products based on the type of object/person to be cast apart from other considerations. Alginate, moulage, clay, wax, plaster, liquid latex, polyurethanes, resins, silicone rubber and even plaster bandages are regularly used for making quality molds and casts.
Latex is most commonly used for making molds as it not only is inexpensive but also very durable and tear resistant. The tough quality also makes it very amenable for casting abrasive materials like concrete and even capturing architectural details right on site. Accordingly, it is best suited for architectural restorations, decorative garden ornaments, ornamental candle making, soap making and fine art reproductions. But it shrinks when cured and painting on latex is difficult as the paint may very well chip or crack after drying. It cannot be frozen either. Liquid latex casting rubber works especially well for detailed reproductions like masks, gloves and costumes.
In contrast, polyurethanes may prove slightly more expensive, but they are very versatile and can be used for a variety of items. Polyurethanes also resist abrasion and lend themselves well for creating highly detailed, ridged casts.Polyurethane resin also comes in a liquid form and can be poured into molds like liquid latex. But it becomes highly impressionable and even the smallest crack, will be visible in the finished product.Again, polyurethane resin can never be bubble free and therefore using either a pressure pot or vacuum pump and chamber is advisable for making perfect casts.
Silicone rubber is very flexible and works as the product of choice for making multiple casts of almost any item. It is even more expensive than polyurethane resin but becomes worth the price when casting higher volumes of the same item. The skin safe variations are apt for special effects and duplicating skin surfaces apart from making realistic dolls.
To sum up, it is not as if one type of material is significantly better than the other. More importantly, different materials are suitable for making different kinds of reproductions. For instance, while plaster bandages are suitable for less detailed molds like belly castings, food-safe silicone rubber is the first choice for making candy, food molds and ice sculptures. Liquid latex beats all other products when it comes to mask making while polyurethane resin is infinitely preferred for sculpture reproductions and the like.
Therefore, the question is not that which mold making or casting material is better but which will suit your intended project the best. And if you are still in doubt, turn to EnvironMolds website, http://www.artmolds.com/. The extensiveportal not just provides comprehensive details about every product, but also a detailed 'Use And Application Chart' to guide beginners on the right types of materials to be used.
EnvironMolds offers top quality mold making and casting supplies apart from studio equipment like pressure pot, vacuum pump and chamber and even elegant options for mounting, display and name plate.