Fillers and metal powders

Fillers and metal powders

1.0 It is possible to add many other products to the A1 base material in addition to pigment and metal powders. This allows you to give the A1 a different look, change its properties and possibly save costs.

Frequently used materials are dried sand, very fine stones, marble powder, etc. Particle size is up to the customers requirements but most common used is 0.1 – 0.6 mm. In addition to their aesthetic properties, these give the A1 a scratch-resistant and extra-hard top layer. By using sand of different colour and size, a granito or granite appearance can be obtained. In this case, after curing, the top layer can be sanded to bring the stone to the surface to obtain a greater contrast. Sand from the seaside is not suitable as it contains salts.

A special filler is expanded glass (Poraver), these are lightweight recycled glass balls. The main advantage is weight saving. For a good adhesion between the grains, it is possible to mix them beforehand with a limited quantity of A1. Poraver is only suited for indoor projects.

2.0 Adding fillers to the A1
First mix the A1 Liquid (1 part) with the A1 Powder (2 parts). Then gradually add the filler to the A1 (maximum 2 parts). Add A1 Diluent if desired.

A combination of fillers and/or pigments is also possible.

Video: grey sand added to the A1 mixture creates a granite look

Video: yellow sand added to the A1 mixture creates a sandstone look

Video: yellow sand added to the A1 mixture creates a sandstone look

Result of using different sorts of quartz sand into the A1 mixture and after sanding the A1.

3.0 How much fillers can I add to the A1 mixture?
As a rule of thumb we suggest a ratio of 1 part A1 Liquid, 2 parts A1 Powder and 2 parts filler (all by weight). This means that we can add a maximum of 0.67 kg fillers per kilogram of A1 created. 

As mentioned this is a rule of thumb because for metal powder the maximum amount will be below this maximum as the viscosity of the A1 will become too high. For certain applications you might add more than the suggested maximum. 
For expensive fillers you also might consider to only fill the toplayer with the filler. The feel and look of your A1 object will not be affected. 
That’s why we suggest starting with a maximum of 1 part filler compared to the A1 liquid (1 part) and A1 powder (2 parts) if you work with expensive fillers like metal powder. Use the suggested 2 parts when you work with cheaper material like sand. Increase or decrease the amount of filler to your preference. If you add above the suggested maximum make sure the strength of the finished A1 object is within your specifications. 
4.0 Is it possible to use any filler when an A1 object is placed outside?
When placing an A1 object outside you have to make sure that the fillers used do NOT absorb water. In an outdoor environment A1 will attract moisture. When using fillers that absorb moisture as well you create a situation where the filler will absorb some of this moisture as well. When the A1 wants to release its moisture the moisture in the filler will stay behind, causing problems like delamination on longer terms. An example of a filler we would not use when the A1 object is placed outside is poravor.

5.0 Which fillers can I use to reduce costs?
Poraver (expanded glass) can be used as a filler for A1. This is a recycled lightweight glass ball that allows you to achieve a large volume gain. Add the grains little by little to the A1 base.

Another good and inexpensive filler medium for A1 is dried (silver) sand (available in the building materials department in your local DIY shop).

The choice of filler depends on your preference in terms of weight, desired appearance and cost.

metal powders

6.0 For metal effects, various metal powders can be added to A1. After mixing the A1, it is possible to add metal powders, such as bronze, iron, copper, zinc or aluminium powder.

7.0 There are many possibilities in patinating and colour appearance.
When using metal powder, the end result will vary. This has to do with oxidation, the chosen patina, the location of the metal particles in the A1 and the sub-colour with which the A1 is pigmented. The oxidation itself is an uncontrollable process and this will give every object a different appearance.

8.0 After curing of A1, which is provided with a metal powder, you can process it in different ways for the desired result depending on the % metal is used;

  • Leave iron powder in water for a long or shorter period.
  • Sand the A1 lightly so the metal powders come to the surface, these metal particles can be processed with oxidizing
  • A1 can be patinated with heat or chemicals.
  • It is also possible to pigment the A1 so the undertone is already in the desired colour scheme.

9.0 How much metal powder do I have to add to the first layer of A1 for a good result?
We suggest starting with 1 part A1 Liquid, 2 parts A1 Powder and 1 part metal powder. These are all by weight. Make a small test to see if you get the desired result. Maybe you can use less metal powder as this will be the most expensive element.

10.0 Some tips:

  • after the desired result of the metal powders is achieved A1 Sealer PLUS can be applied for protection so the weather influences slow down the oxidation process.
  • if you work with a silicone mould, you can stimulate the oxidation process by extending the discharge time by a number of hours or days
11.0 How do I give an A1 object an old weathered bronze appearance?
Now we are entering the world of the bronze caster who knows everything about working with bronze objects after its casting. Unfortunately our knowledge stops after we have added the bronze powder to the A1 mixture and have taken the casting out of the mould. 
12.0 After adding the iron powder to the A1, the rusting process will continue in an outdoor situation.
The Iron powder starts to oxidise after it becomes in contact with water and air. As you probably are aware this oxidising process does turn the iron into rust particles. If this continues for a longer period all iron will be turned into rust particles, resulting in weakening the iron object.
A similar situation occurs when the iron particles inside of the A1 will continue to be exposed to water, in the form of moisture and air. In due course the iron will be replaced by rust particles. These will expand and might create delamination of the A1 object, comparable to an iron object left in an outdoor environment. Applying a layer of our A1 Sealer PLUS will slow down the process but not stop it 100%. 
Disclaimer: please be aware for other language translation, some content may not translated properly, you can stay use English language for proper reading
Disclaimer: All (technical) advice and treatment and the possible applications regarding the products are given without obligation, and to the best knowledge and effort, as well as the current state of technology, without an obligation to create results and without any liability. We recommend that the prospective user determines the suitability of our materials and suggestions before adopting them on a commercial scale.