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Making you own polyurethane cartridge cases

Posted by ivop, 18 April 2014 · 856 views

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Here's how I made my first cartridge case.
First, I made two molds with tin cure silicone, the cheapest variant. Perhaps I'll make another one with platinum cure later.
The cost of the molds is about 12,= euro's in total, but they can be reused several times. Not sure how many times yet. Might vary between 20 and 120, judging by the reports I read on the internet.
It took 10-15 hours to cure until I could take the originals out of the mold. After that, I had them post-cure for two days. I was very pleased with the results.
Pouring the PU was a totally different matter. The silicone had a pot life of 40 minutes, which means I had plenty of time to mix the two components and pour them in the container, but the PU I had bought is a fast curing variant with a pot life of only 2-3 minutes. So when I started with the second mold, it had become way too syrupy. Nevertheless, I managed to get it all in the mold. I unmolded after 60 minutes, let it cure a little longer and then used a vile and sandpaper to clean it up.
IMHO it turned out not too bad for a first try. I have plenty of PU left to try a few times more. By my calculations the cost of one case, not counting the mold, is about 1,25 euro.

Looks good.  It might be an alternative to donor carts, especially if you can color the PU and the material characteristics aren't bad.

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Thanks for your interest. It has a hardness of Shore D-70/75 which is pretty sturdy IMHO, but it could be increased up to 85 by adding another component. PU can be colored by either adding a color agent or painting it afterwards. Painting is cheaper, but it probably won't look as good as mixing the color before casting.

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