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Jewelry FAQs – Preparation & Investing
I have been advised to roll my investment drums and redistribute the powder before I use it. Is this required?
The particle size of the ingredients used in R&R investments are all of a similar (and very small) particle size. Therefore, there is no
separation of the ingredients. You do not need to roll the package to redistribute materials. However, a few casters roll the
package simply to decompress settled material, making it easier to scoop out.
You recommend vacuuming until the investment rises and breaks. You say this should take less than a minute. If it doesn't occur
in a minute’s time, should I keep the vacuum applied until it does?
If the investment doesn't rise and break quickly during the investment cycle, there is usually a problem with the vacuum.
Vacuum pumps with old oil or leaks can cause the vacuum to pull less vacuum than a well­maintained unit. An oil change
often makes a significant difference. You can check the system by placing water under vacuum. If you do not see the water
boil rapidly, you should get the vacuum system checked. If the water boils and your investment does not, contact your
investment manufacturer.
Is distilled or deionized water required, rather than tap water? What is the difference?
Distilled or deionized water is recommended because it is more consistent than tap water. Impurities in tap water can change
the working and set time of an investment. With distilled or deionized water, the impurities are minimized so the investment
properties are more repeatable drum to drum and batch to batch. All of R&R’s retained batch samples are evaluated using
deionized water to insure batch to batch consistency.
At times, I would like to lengthen or shorten the set time of the material I am investing. Do you have any suggestions?
In general, warmer water and/or warmer powder will speed up the setting time. Cold water and/or powder has the opposite
Does a flask really have to set undisturbed for an hour or two before removing the sprue base? I would like to speed up my
production cycle and remove the base sooner than an hour.
The investment does require at least an hour’s time to set completely. Many customers see finning and other defects associated
with removing the sprue base too early. If the base is removed before the investment has sufficient green strength, the
investment is shifted and stressed when the base is removed. This can result in rough surfaces and other casting defects.
Is there any easy way to increase the strength of a mold without compromising quality?
Reducing the amount of water used will increase mold strength. Rather than using a 40/100 ratio for a gypsum investment, you
may want to try 38/100, however, the increased mold strength will reduce the ability to remove investment after casting. The
permeability of the mold will be reduced when less water is used.
Can I add water to the powder?
This method of mixing is not advised since it takes too long to completely wet out the powder. The material has a set working
time and it is important to keep the mix time (3 minutes or less for a gypsum investment) as recommended so there is enough
time to compete the entire process. Adding the powder to the water will allow you ti mix thoroughly in the desired time.
Even though I think I have good vacuum, I still get nodules on my castings caused by excess air on the wax. Do you have any
Often, altitude will reduce the effectiveness of even a good vacuum system. One of the tricks you might try is to add a few
drops of liquid dish soap to the water before you mix your investment. The soap will act as a surfactant and break up the air
bubbles in the mix. Be careful not to add too much soap or you could cause the opposite effect and create more bubbles.
Do I need to use the entire recommended working time for your investment like other manufacturers recommend?
Other manufacturers may advise using the entire working time as a means of eliminating water marking defects. Water marking

This is not a problem because the vacuum will cool the investment and you may even notice a cooler flask after the second vacuum step. Use of the entire working time is not a requirement to achieving good results with R&R investments. the warmer the mix will become. Can you provide clear definition of these terms? Let’s define them from the shortest to the longest time frames. I do not use investment daily and cannot really justify buying a mixer. a length of threaded rod. like 2 to 3 pounds.9497 | Fax 419. Set time starts at the same point and is timed until a Vicat needle will no longer penetrate the material more than 1 mm deep. For R&R’s gypsum materials this happens 8­9 minutes after the start of the mix. Gloss off again starts with the powder to water addition but ends when you can no longer see moisture on the top of the flask. Are there any differences in investment powder preparation or use if I am using plastic.9997 .865. However. Back to Frequently Asked Questions Home | R&R Terms & Conditions | Site Map 3535 Briarfield Boulevard | Maumee. Pour time starts with the powder to water addition and stops when the material is physically too thick to pour from one vessel to another. The working time is set to allow a large portion of the casting industry enough time to prepare investment and fill flasks. and a rubber disk. do make certain you mix the investment with water as long as recommended in the application sheets.253. How much investment should I have above the wax tree and around the sides of the flask? Plan to cover the tree with at least an inch of investment and about 1/4” of investment between the wax and the flask walls. patterns? No. Ohio 43537 | US Toll Free 800. I've noticed that investments seem to heat up a bit while they are mixing.4502 | Phone 419. increase the diameter to 6”. this occurs in 4­5 minutes. Can you suggest any way to mix the material well without having to spend a lot of money? You can make a fairly good mixer using a portable hand drill. working time and gloss off time when they speak about investments. Why? Gypsum is somewhat exothermic. If you are mixing a small batch of material. The more material you mix. Our gypsum products have a set time less than 20 minutes. It is caused by water separating from the investment as it characterized as “rivers” of metal on the underside (as invested) of the casting.865. pour time. rather than wax. Working time starts when you add the powder to the water and ends when the material starts to thicken. For our phosphates. For a mix of 8­10 pounds. I have heard people refer to set time. Secure the rubber disk to the end of a rod and use the drill to mix the material. the disk diameter should be about 3”. This thickness provides good strength for casting.