Chavant’s Y2Klay

In a previous article I spoke about the impending move from sulphur based clay to sulphur free clay due to the adverse effect to circuit boards that are now manufactured for todays computers. The seriousness of this effect is such that our company has now transitioned to Y2Klay by Chavant to assure warrantees of computer equipment will remain uneffected.

Now this transition period was put on the fast track, there’s no point in prolonging the inevitable so I am now at a point where I can give you an overview of the product in question.

Y2Klay has been a product that Chavant has been perfecting over the last ten years and the main attributes are:

  • Sulphur free, therefore reduces its corrosive ability.
  • Less odor, no more smelly clothes through working with the clay.
  • Light weight, a potential reduction in weight by 40% leading to less cost in shipping.
  • Good working temperature (135°F or 57°C)
  • Excellent milling properties

The first thing that struck me was the color, it has the color of dark tan boot polish and when handled, a very waxy consistency. It feels hard and dry to the touch and the most important question to be answered is, will it stick to itself.

The manufacturer has assured me that the properties of this clay are very good and it will adhere to itself without additional heat. With that said, I’m always a little cautious when this type of statement is made, primarily because the inconsistencies that surround the manufacturing of the product. Even though there are numerous guidelines set for the vendors that supply the raw material the bandwidth may range from one extreme to the other so I’m sure there are plenty of missed heartbeats while producing each batch especially during these times of inconsistent oil prices.

For us to move forward with this new clay we first had to eliminate any cross contamination, several ovens were stripped down and totally cleaned out before reloading with Y2Klay and preheating the material to 135°F or 57°C. The intention was to model a complete model and see how it goes, no testing just get the job done. The application of the clay was easy enough, a very smooth consistency and it did adhere to itself with no problems but that was in the warm state, how will it perform when cold.

The next process was to mill the model via the Tarus mill, Chavant’s claim was true to form, the clay cut cleanly with no sticking to the milling cutter and no tearing of the clay. Small areas that were missing during the packing of the model were recovered with clay after first keying the surface with a clay rake. The clay blends in nicely but make sure you use some force when applying so that it becomes one with the underneath surface. Remilling of this area shows no sign of delaminating which is good, so far it is an improvement over the previous sulphur based clay.

Once the milling is finished it’s hand tools only, rakes, finishers and steels. The first impression is, it’s a harder clay than the I307, needing sharp tools to cut the surface smoothly without skidding over the top. Frequent sharpening on the diamond stone to hone the edge of the steels will no doubt require the teeth to be filed in on a regular basis. The surface of the clay cleans up crisp and the detail edges hold firm, no breaking away of the clay. This was an important factor for us, rebuilding edges is time consuming.

My overall impression of Y2Klay for this first project is, it performed exactly as stated, the working temperature is a little lower with no hotspots in the clay. It applies well even though it feels a little dry and adhesion is not a problem. For me this is a success but this was only a small project, the real test is to come, when we start on a fullsize model.

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