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  #1  
Old 10-27-2011, 04:25 AM
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pachyderm pachyderm is offline
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Concrete "Bronze" Patina...

I have a reinforced concrete sculpture that is quite aged (60+ years) and plain looking. The client wants to make it look.. more impressive; as it will get a new life in a commercial development. What kinds of sealants or paints or sprays can be used on concrete that would make it look like weathered bronze or copper?

I've looked around the forum a bit and it looks like any kind of resin is out of the question because of UV/weather damage (it will be outdoors)... There was a mention of Sculpt Nouveau products being used on cement but this is a sculpture with a rough surface.. so how thick is the patina? And... considering the fact that I am in China with no access to the North American sculpture product market, can anyone detail the chemical compounds that would be required?

PS It appears that I have not used this forum in over 4 years.. er.. hello again!
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  #2  
Old 10-27-2011, 02:25 PM
Andrew Werby Andrew Werby is offline
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Re: Concrete "Bronze" Patina...

I wouldn't do it. Even if you managed to find a metal coating that would stick to the concrete and not weather off (unlikely), it wouldn't look more impressive; it would look more tacky. A metal coating mostly serves to amplify the surface that underlies it. In this case, the grainy texture of the concrete would be highlighted. If your client really wants this sculpture in metal, then take it to a foundry and have a mold and casting made. In the process, they can smooth down the surface. Since you're in China, it shouldn't cost too much.

Andrew Werby
www.computersculpture.com
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  #3  
Old 10-30-2011, 09:07 AM
cooljamesx1 cooljamesx1 is offline
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Re: Concrete "Bronze" Patina...

Sure, paint wont last forever, but you can always paint it again. And then concrete wont last forever either. Acid rain is eating it away right now. water is seeping in and taking its toll on the reinforcements, and if its freezing in there...!!! I'm sure there are a lot of options for painting. I see painted concrete on buildings all the time, or perhaps something from the automotive world...? It might not ever look like bronze, but I could imagine a concrete mass looking pretty sharp in a dark mat finish. And on that thought a rough surface might be nice...
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Old 11-17-2011, 04:52 AM
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pachyderm pachyderm is offline
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Re: Concrete "Bronze" Patina...

Thanks for your concern, Andrew, but sometimes I have the feeling that China invented tacky aesthetics based on what I've seen here...

I suppose that if the client really wanted to just paint and repaint it (a perfectly viable option actually, cooljames) then I could consider this as some kind of a three dimensional concrete floor I believe most kinds of these floor treatments last 10-25 years which is considered a very long time in fast-paced China. Considerable cost savings too over casting it in bronze which I don't believe the client will cash out money for... Anyone have any experience with using metallic epoxy paints? Such as:

Metallix - They have a lot of paints that are over the top but there a couple here that could pass for a copper or tarnished silver...

This is a concrete industry case study about applying a metallic epoxy coating to a concrete restaurant floor
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2011, 05:08 AM
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racine racine is offline
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Re: Concrete "Bronze" Patina...

build it up thickly and it may last long enough for your client to die.
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  #6  
Old 11-29-2011, 02:26 PM
vern terry vern terry is offline
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Re: Concrete "Bronze" Patina...

Food for thought:
Consider a technique called Metal Spraying. It is a process used for building up worn crankshafts. Any metal available in extruded form is fed through a hand held gun similar to resin and glass fibre being shot through a chopper gun. The metal is heated and sprayed to the thickness desired until the surface is built up to a point where it can be milled to specs. I did my Masters Thesis on this technique and applied sprayed bronze, copper, zinc, aluminum on cast epoxy, cardboard, wood, and several concrete sculptures to the thickness of a match book cover. I used bronze predominately and followed the process by wet sanding the sculptures with wet and dry sand paper. There is a book Metal Techniques for Craftsmen by Oppi Utrecht which has formulas for making your own patinas. There is a broad range of patinas available. I was satisfied with my results and a bit critical as I had served an apprenticeship in a bronze foundry under the tutelage of the Instructor of the foundry at Stanford University Franco Vianello. I have continued with my experiments in cement sculpture and now exclusively work with Rapid Set Cement a high strength cement grout that cures to 9000psi in 28 days. I apply a Bronze C powder coating that has a 10 to 15 year exterior durability available from Art Nouveau followed by a Tiffany patina also available. This material and patina I have also applied to polyester resin sculptures that have been exposed to the weather for 10+ years without any significant decomposition in integrity of material or color. I would research the Metal Spray technique as a viable alternative being that Art Nouveau products are not easily available for you. Good Luck
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Old 11-29-2011, 02:32 PM
vern terry vern terry is offline
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Re: Concrete "Bronze" Patina...

Food for thought:
Consider a technique called Metal Spraying. It is a process used for building up worn crankshafts. Any metal available in extruded form is fed through a hand held gun similar to resin and glass fibre being shot through a chopper gun. The metal is heated and sprayed to the thickness desired until the surface is built up to a point where it can be milled to specs. I did my Masters Thesis on this technique and applied sprayed bronze, copper, zinc, aluminum on cast epoxy, cardboard, wood, and several concrete sculptures to the thickness of a match book cover. I used bronze predominately and followed the process by wet sanding the sculptures with wet and dry sand paper. There is a book Metal Techniques for Craftsmen by Oppi Utrecht which has formulas for making your own patinas. There is a broad range of patinas available. I was satisfied with my results and a bit critical as I had served an apprenticeship in a bronze foundry under the tutelage of the Instructor of the foundry at Stanford University Franco Vianello. I have continued with my experiments in cement sculpture and now exclusively work with Rapid Set Cement a high strength cement grout that cures to 9000psi in 28 days. I apply a Bronze C powder coating that has a 10 to 15 year exterior durability available from Art Nouveau followed by a Tiffany patina also available. This material and patina I have also applied to polyester resin sculptures that have been exposed to the weather for 10+ years without any significant decomposition in integrity of material or color. I would research the Metal Spray technique as a viable alternative being that Art Nouveau products are not easily available for you. Good Luck
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