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Hydrocal

Hydrocal is a brand name for a white gypsum cement made and marketed by the US Gypsum Company.  It is available in a number of different formulations and is most commonly used by glass artists as a mold material (or "investment"). 

Hydrocal, which is often mixed with silica flour and other refractory materials to make a casting mold, is especially useful when a strong mold is required.  It expands to nearly twice its original size when mixed, and is ideal for bas relief molds or for molds that have thin sections requiring additional strength. 

Because Hydrocal sets rapidly, it must be worked very quickly when mixing and pouring.  Be sure to use cooler water to help slow the setting process.  When cured, Hydrocal is a very white color.  It can be easily carved, and takes detail well.  Additional pours will bond easily to previously poured Hydrocal.

For more on Hydrocal, see the US Gypsum website at  http://www.gypsumsolutions.com/brand.asp?prod=13

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Copyright 2005 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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