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Nikki (Admin)
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Resin types? 10 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 0  
Our lab is gearing up to do thin sectioning for the first time, and we're going to have to buy some more resin for encasing our samples in as our existing batch went bad (too old I guess). Does anyone else have a resin they use that they'd recommend? Ideally we'd love not to have to use a fume hood, but we do have one available so that's not a deal breaker.
 
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jon (Admin)
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Re:Resin types? 10 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 0  
Hey Nikki,

We have been happy with WASCO's artificial water (AW100-128) - www.taxidermy.com. The price is good and it hardens up nice and clear. You would need to use a fume hood and be sure not to get the catalyst in your eye.

js
 
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titaniumboy (Admin)
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Re:Resin types? 10 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 0  
Hi Nikki

There are a plethora of resins out there, but not all are recommended for the type of work that we do. Several things to keep in mind when looking for resins are

1) Clarity, even though they may initially look clear, after hardening many resins can become clouded. Depending on the size of the structure, or specifically the size of the focus, you’re best to choose a resin that is as clear as possible so you can see the target within the resin.
2) Shrinkage, many resins will actually contract during the hardening process. This puts stress upon the structure and can pop the thin-section out of the resin during the cutting process.
3) Heat, many resins will give off heat during the hardening process. Now this will probably not effect the otolith, but may cause damage to the of mould if its not made out of a heat resistant materials

These are the three that come to mind, there might be more related to specific otolith applications however. We have tried several resins (IPHC), but after Jon’s recommendation we have also decided to go with WASCO's artificial water because of the above listed concerns. It does have a shelf life though, so don’t buy more then you can use in a year. It can last longer if you maintain the can in a stable temperature however, so don’t leave it outside in a garden shed for instance. I would recommend using a fume hood with what ever resin you decide to use; all resins give off harmful chemicals.
steve
 
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Nikki (Admin)
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Re:Resin types? 10 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 0  
Thanks for the info! Luckily we don't have to worry about heat - we made our mold custom and it's rated for pretty high heat. But Artifical Water was on our list of things to consider; good to see it's used and liked by a number of people.
 
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jon (Admin)
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Re:Resin types? 10 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 0  
Good point about the shelf life, tboy. Artificial water's official shelf life is 6 months, but ours usually stays fluid for over a year. If it starts to lose it's fluidity, be sure to set it off and turn it into plastic. Otherwise you will have a gooey mess that is expensive to dispose.

You guys have piqued my interest in molds. I'll go start another thread...
 
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titaniumboy (Admin)
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Re:Resin types? 10 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 0  
Jon makes an excellent point Nikki. I’m sure many labs are not aware of this. Resins that are beyond their usage can not be simply tossed in the garbage, they must (for us government types anyhow) be disposed of as described in the MSDS literature. This can be very costly, so to avoid this we simply solidify the remaining resin while it is still has a low viscosity. At this point, once the resin has hardened, you can simply toss it in the garbage.
 
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oldcal (User)
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Re:Resin types? 10 Years, 10 Months ago Karma: 0  
Hi Nikki, I'll just add my two cents here. Definitely you need a good fume hood, and I think it aids in the curing process. Right now I'm able to produce a block of 54 halibut otoliths in about 1-2 days total curing time. I pour a mixture of about 195g of artificial water and mix in about 3g of hardener into a paper coffee cup then pour it into the silicone mold and let it cure about 1/2 hour. I add in the otoliths and gently press them into the mixture and then pour in another 195/3 mixture of artificial water and hardener. I do try to do as much in the fume hood as possible, those fumes are noxious! I give it about 1-2 days to cure and pop them of the molds. So far they've stayed pretty flat, no warping.
 
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