There are several differences between PMC3 and PMC. Materials that are commonly used in jewellery making, many people mistakenly consider PMC and PMC3 to be the same thing.
One of the main differences between the two is that PMC3 will fire at a lower temperature than other types of PMC. It will typically begin to fire at around 1290 degrees Fahrenheit. By firing at a much lower temperature, PMC3 is capable of containing various implants - including those made of both sterling and glass. It also means that many lower tech firing devices may be used in the jewellery making process.
If you're able to fire at a considerably lower temperature, you'll find that you'll be able to work with various jewellery making materials - materials that may not have been able to withstand the heat required to fire regular PMC.
PMC3 was developed and created by scientists in a Mitsubishi lab in Japan. This material shares many similarities with other forms of PMC - such as PMC+ - in that its strength if consistent and it has the ability to be shrunk if needed. However, the main difference between PMC3 and the various other forms of PMC is the firing temperature. It is possible to fire PMC3 at 1290 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 minutes, at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit in just 20 minutes and at a very low 1110 degrees Fahrenheit in only 30 minutes. This can save you an impressive amount of time when it comes to creating jewellery when using PMC3.
Unlike PMC3, PMC+ fires much harder and its ability to shrink is less effective. This type of material contains less plastic, but it still contains more plastic than you would typically find in the solution of PMC3. Typically PMC+ will shrink up to 12 per cent - which is not much considering how much PMC3 shrinks in less time. It also fires .999 pure silver; this is one of the reasons that PMC+ is so widely used by jewellery makers. Even though it doesn't shrink as other PMC varieties and requires a much a higher firing heat, many jewllery makers consider PMC+ to be their material of choice.
The original form of PMC material is more like a large clump of clay than PMC+ or PMC3 is. Yet the firing time and weight of this material is practically the same as PMC+. Soft to work with, PMC has been widely used in jewellery making projects for many years. It can shrink up to 29 per cent and will fire into a .999 fine silver finish.
The original PMC form will fire at 1650 within two hours - though it should be noted that you would need to use a kiln in order to fire PMC for this amount of time. The shrinking ability of original PMC can allow jewellery makers the freedom to create detailed designs which can subsequently be shrunk down - leaving smaller pieces, packed with details. Highly detail pieces are always popular amongst jewellery enthusiasts - a factor that also increases their value.
PMC3 is a hugely popular material that is used by many jewellery makers. This article examines the differences between this particular form and other forms of PMC.