Clear wire insulation & no-shrink clear epoxy

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by strantor, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. strantor

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 3, 2010
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    I'm looking for regular 18 or 20 awg stranded or solid wire with clear (really clear) insulation. the closest I can find is "clear" speaker wire which actually has an amber tint.

    The idea is that I want to immerse the wire (several clear wires) in a volume of clear epoxy, such that when you look into the epoxy, it looks like bare wires are suspended in it.

    I also need to find clear expoxy (really clear) that does not contract when it cures. I will be filling a form with it, and I do not want it to have a sunken-in appearance.

    anyone seen such clear wires and epoxy?
     
  2. gerty

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    Aug 30, 2007
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    Have you looked into clear heatshrink tubing. You didn't specify a length and the heatshrink might not be a good alternative if it's really long.
    The heatshrink would be put on a bare conductor and give the illusion of not being there at all. We use it to label some cables with a small printed tag underneath it.
     
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  3. wayneh

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    Sep 9, 2010
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    You'll be able to see the insulation if it has a different refractive index than the surrounding material, just as you can see it in air or probably water. I think you'd likely get much better results (aesthetically) by first stripping the wire.

    For the surroundings, you want what's called potting, and I've definitely seen crystal clear potting. It's designed to carry away heat, not shrink, not conduct, etc. It's not as cheap as fiberglass resin like you'd use on a car, but it should do what you want.
     
  4. strantor

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    Hey, that's a great idea! I'll have to try it out. thanks.

    Yeah you're probably right about the refractive index thing. What if I used the same epoxy/potting to coat the wires (coat & cure) before I dunk them in the volume of epoxy/potting? That way I wouldn't have to worry about them making contact after dunking and they hopefully would have the same refractive index.

    I was hoping to make a lamp base out of the stuff. it might take a couple of gallons. A couple of gallons of potting is going to break the bank.
     
  5. wayneh

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    Sep 9, 2010
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    Ah well, then you've got some experimenting to do. Do a few trial runs and you'll learn a lot. Pre-gooping the wires I think will be difficult. You might be able to use a plastic straw as a mold, then peel it off. Or maybe think up a way to use spacers of some kind to separate the wires. Like little half inch pieces of toothpick or maybe you can find a clear acrylic rod. Drop of glue on each end.
     
  6. strantor

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    Ok I think I found my clear "epoxy" - it's called "clear casting resin"; it's what they use to make those scorpion paper weights.

    Ok I think I got something; I could pour several small discs of resin and drill holes in them, then put the wires through the holes

    Thanks for the brainstoming guys. I think I have a good enough set of ideas now to put into action.
     
  7. DigitalReaper

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    Aug 7, 2010
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    For wire, how about enameled copper? The same stuff they use in transformers. If you can get it in a light enough colour it will look like bare wire but still be insulated.
     
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  8. strantor

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    alright, will look into that as well. thanks!
     
  9. shortbus

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    Sep 30, 2009
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    @Strantor - Why not use bare solid wire and bend it so there is a distance between the two conductors and then pour the resin? The resin would then be the insulation.
     
  10. strantor

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    Oct 3, 2010
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    There will be more than 2 wires; 20 or more, all I envision running through about a 2ft section of 2" clear acryllic pipe. I want them to have a tangled/meandering appearance without contacting. Also I haven't looked up the dielectric properties of the resin yet
     
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