Epoxy Curing: The Economic Approach

Epoxy curing has its challenges. Most resins for composite construction need post curing heat assistance. There are different approaches you can take for post curing temperature control. But of all the tactics and options available, there are really only two kinds: those that cost a lot of money and those that don’t.

Post Curing Epoxy Resins

When it comes to epoxy curing, most every epoxy resin, especially those used in composite and carbon fiber construction, has to cure and post cure at high temperatures. Normal ambient temperatures, even during hottest summer months, are never enough. Take Gold Coast Yachts for example. Gold Coast Yachts manufactures high-end, carbon-fiber yachts. Their assembly process used to involve a very expensive and time-consuming procedure for post curing the large carbon frames.

Before Gold Coast starting using Powerblanket® Curing Blankets, they had to post cure their carbon fiber structures in large ovens. But get this; they had to construct those large ovens themselves. When you have to post cure structures as large as Gold Coast does, you’re not going to find a curing oven big enough. Instead, Gold Coast had to essentially construct rooms around the carbon-fiber body, so they could then pump enough heat into the enclosed space for the post cure to set properly. If this sounds expensive and time consuming, it’s because it was.

Once Gold Coast started using our curing blankets, however, they began saving thousands of dollars and hours (even days) worth of time. We were able to customize the right size curing blankets for them to use in insulating and heating their structures for post curing perfection.

Big yachts made of carbon fiber aren’t the only large-scale dilemmas for epoxy curing. We also have several clients in the wind turbine business who use our blankets to cure the seams in those gigantic blades that go on the wind mills we all see generating so much electricity. Imagine trying to find or build an oven for one of those.

Now, the question is: what can our curing blankets do for your curing needs? Whether you have big or small parts to cure and post cure, Powerblanket curing blankets can save you the time and money associated with curing ovens. Curing ovens are expensive, and they’re limited in size and transportability. Our curing blankets, on the other hand, have no such limitation and are much, much easier on the pocket book. We have many standard sizes and we can quickly design and build custom sizes at a very reasonable cost. So when you have curing needs, look no further than here.

Powerblanket® Custom Heaters

Custom PowerblanketCustom heaters are an absolute necessity to the year-round continuity of many different industries. However, getting the right custom heating solution for your particular application can be a challenge, not to mention a considerable expense. Thankfully, with Powerblanket custom heaters, you don’t have to worry about either of these speed bumps.

Custom Heaters The Way You Need Them

When it comes to customizing a heating product to an application that requires unique specifications, you can often equate the process to high costs and long turn-around times. However, with Powerblanket’s approach to custom heating solutions, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank or waiting forever for a solution that you needed yesterday. In fact, Powerblanket can turn around a custom heating solution in two weeks’ time. (A lot of the time, we can even do it in one week.)

Powerblanket’s patented technology delivers safe and regulated heat to whatever you need to protect or heat.  Our easy-to-install, durable, and economical heating blankets can cover your assets in the coldest conditions and in the most demanding processes. If you can build it, store it, or use it, we can cover and heat it. The point is, Powerblanket custom heaters can be designed to insulate, protect, and regulate temperature on many, many different applications and in varying circumstances.

If you’re in need of a custom heater for a large storage unit, a tank, a cylinder, a valve, an instrumentation unit, a silo, a piping system, or any other conceivable application, it all starts with giving us a call or filling out a custom heater application. Actually, getting a customized heating solution from us is as easy as:

 

  1. Contacting us to tell us about the details and needs of your application. (Most of our custom projects start with a simple phone call to one of our reps. After that, you can send any and all information we’ll need to produce the proper heating solution for you. But if you want a more hands off approach, we can come onsite and get all the details on our own.)
  2. Having us design a custom heating solution for your application. (Whether you choose to send us information or decide to have us visit you onsite, we’ll get all the details and feedback we need from you so that our expert design engineers can design the right solution for you.)
  3. Having us build your custom solution and shipping it to you within two weeks. (Sometimes, we can even turn a project around in as little as one week.)

 

Powerblanket Custom Heaters Offer:

  • Quick turn-around (normally ships within one to two weeks)
  • The ability to answer varying levels of customization
  • Certification to UL and CSA safety standards
  • Easy installation and use

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Custom Tank Heaters: The Perfect Approach to Heating Solutions


custom tank heatersIt would be absolutely ridiculous to assume that all tanks come in the same shapes and sizes, whether they hold water, gas, chemicals, or some other matter. We all know that this simply isn’t the case. While there are certainly standard measurements for specialty gas tanks, water tanks, and others, the range of variance between size, construction, and purpose is vast enough that there simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for tank protection. That’s why Powerblanket® Custom Tank Heaters are the perfect approach to the need for a heating solution.

 

Customized for Your Tanks and Needs

Regardless of the size of your tank, the purpose it serves, or its shape, Powerblanket can help you protect it against cold weather and keep it running at the ideal temperature year round. Our custom approach to providing tailored heating solutions to a myriad of industries and applications has allowed hundreds of customers to protect their precious assets from the ravages of cold weather.

In addition to freeze protection, our custom tank heaters enable increased efficiency in gas and other kinds of tanks. Anywhere flow rates and extraction rates are affected by temperature, Powerblanket custom tank heaters can ensure the flow of liquids and extraction of gas is always at its best. Take, for example, the nature of a gas such as propane.

When gases are stored in tanks, they are stored under considerable pressure. Due to this fact, they reside in the tank in both a liquid and gaseous state. Extracting a gas means you must evaporate some of the liquid and that evaporation process requires an input of heat energy. If the gas extraction rate is fast enough, it could cause the tank to frost up and the extraction to be impeded. However, with a custom Powerblanket propane tank heater you can keep the extraction flowing fast and full, without the side effect of frosting or icing.

What’s more, whether a tank holds gas or liquid, freezing temperatures pose big problems. Using a custom tank heater allows you to fully insulate and heat your tank to whatever temperature is best, regardless of the surrounding climate.

 

custom Powerblanket tank heater wrapped around a large tankGetting a custom tank heater from Powerblanket is as easy as 1, 2, 3:

  1. Contact us with the details of your application.
  2. We’ll design a custom tank heater for your application, based on your information and feedback.
  3. We’ll build your custom solution and ship it to you within two weeks. (Sometimes, we can even turn a project around in as little as one week.)

 

In the end, there’s no reason to leave your tank out in the cold. Powerblanket can cover it and keep it safe and functioning well through the most inclement weather.

 

 

Heating and Hazardous Locations

Working in hazardous locations means you have to exercise serious caution regarding procedure, protocol, and equipment usage. What’s more, heating in hazardous locations takes all the more care and detail to make certain you aren’t adding fuel to a potential fire. This is why Powerblanket offers products certified to national safety standards.

 

CID2Class I Division 1 and Class I Division 2

We understand that hazardous location heating is nothing to take lightly. And we understand that heating products should be engineered to the highest standards of quality and safety. We’ve based our business on this simple reality and are able to customize our safe and innovative heating solutions to a myriad of industries because of it. In fact, our custom heating solutions can be designed and certified to Class I Division 1 (CID1) or Class I Division 2 (CID2) safety standards. We are certified for all four gas Groups, A, B, C, and D and up to a T4 Temperature Classification.  Many people who work in hazardous locations are familiar with these terms. For everyone else, here’s an explanation.

The classifications referenced as CID1 and CID2 regard the operation of electronic equipment in hazardous locations. CID1 is the identifier used for locations where ignitable concentrations of flammable gases, mists or vapors could possibly exist under normal working conditions. This classification also covers locations where the same gases, mists or vapors may exist frequently due to repairs or maintenance in the area. It also includes potential scenarios where gases, mists or vapors could be leaked by faulty or damaged equipment.

CID2, on the other hand, represents all locations where concentrations of flammable gases and/or vapors and/or mists are present in the air under operating conditions outside of the norm. So CID1 covers areas where such hazards are normally present, and CID2 covers areas where such hazards aren’t normally present but certainly could be under abnormal circumstances. Most importantly, if a product is CID1 or CID2 certified, it means that product is safe to use in locations that are CID1 or CID2 rated hazardous locations.

Powerblanket provides products that are certified to either of these hazardous location equipment safety standards. So when it comes to heating in hazardous areas, Powerblanket is both an efficient and safe choice. In addition to these ratings, Powerblanket products are also certified to UL, and CSA standards. Our innovative approach to providing industry-specific heating solutions has helped our customers save a lot of time and resources to safeguard and increase efficiency among the assets that keep their businesses running. So whether it’s freeze protection, viscosity maintenance, curing assistance, or some other heat-related dilemma, Powerblanket can help, even if you operate in a hazardous location.

 

Precast Concrete and Throughput: How to Improve Cure Times

The business of precast concrete manufacturing is one where you often have to hurry up and wait. Once you pour a precast form, you then have to wait for the time-consuming process of allowing the form to fully cure. The importance of proper curing can’t be undermined, but what if it could be efficiently and safely sped up?

 

Cure Precast Concrete 3 Times as Fast

What if we told you that you could speed up your precast concrete curing process, without the use of any additives, by as much as 300%? If you’re first thought is: prove it, then we would love to. In fact, it may interest you to know that the inception of Powerblanket heating solutions all started with concrete curing in the first place. We’ve been in the business of increasing concrete-curing efficiency for many years, and our solutions have been proven and tested innumerable times over to increase curing efficiency without any of the common side effects related to other forms of acceleration.

Additives can dehydrate your concrete and leave you playing a game of gains and losses. But Powerblanket custom precast concrete curing solutions keep your concrete insulated and hydrated throughout the curing process. Our patented blend of technology allows for the even and consistent curing of precast forms of all shapes and sizes.

So rather than balancing the pros and cons of using additives or accelerators in your concrete forms, let us show you a solution that creates no setbacks, only progress. To learn more about our precast curing blankets, select the button below for the infographic.

Custom Heating Solutions: What You Need to Know

So many industries need heating solutions, and not just during the cold months either. Epoxy curing, chemical storage, viscosity maintenance, food preparations, concrete curing, and much more can all benefit from innovative temperature regulation year round. And hey, that’s what we do.

 

Custom Heating BlanketsCustom Heating vs. Ready to Ship Products

Powerblanket® produces an extensive line of ready-to-ship products designed and engineered for a myriad of purposes. For example, if you store temperature-sensitive materials in drums, barrels, or totes, then our ready-to-ship barrel and drum heaters or tote heaters will accommodate your heating needs perfectly. If you store DEF, then take a look at our DEF heaters. If you have palletized product you need to keep warm, check out our Hot Box.

Along with all these great product offerings, however, one of our company’s greatest contributions to the industries we serve is the ability we have of producing custom heating solutions for just about any project under the sun.

We’re in November now, and many are thinking about the effect cold weather is going to have on their business continuity. Some will search high and low and feel frustration at the lack of solutions that fit their very specific need. If you’re reading this as one of those frustrated individuals, then take courage, because we specialize in this sort of thing.

Sometimes the word “custom” makes a process sound like it’s going to take a long time and cost a boatload of money. With some manufacturers, that may be true, but our manufacturing and customization process is fluid and effective, meaning that we can turn around a custom product in a reasonable window. In the case of Powerblanket, you can expect to be wowed.

So whether you need a heating solution for a large or oddly shaped propane tank, truck-mounted water cylinders, valves, manifolds, instrumentation, large scale epoxy curing, or any other specific application, then Powerblanket is ready to help.

 

Custom Heating Solutions from Powerblanket Offer:

  • A reasonable window for completion
  • The ability to answer varying levels of customization
  • Certification to universal safety standards
  • Easy installation and use

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Powerblanket® Outperforms Heat Trace

When it comes to maintaining and protecting the precious valves and instrumentations on your pipes or pipeline, Powerblanket valve heaters and instrumentation heaters outperform the best heat trace. If that seems like a bold statement, read on to find out how and why.

 

Heat Trace vs. Powerblanket

Heat trace, often times referred to synonymously as trace heating, is a common form of providing heat and freeze protection to pipes and pipe valves, manifolds, and instrumentation. Trace heating (TH) has been around for a long time, but the cons associated with the technology are still present today. While TH offers a great solution for long stretches of pipeline sitting above ground, it certainly has its limitations when it comes to protecting valves, actuators, and instrumentation from cold weather.

One potential downside or setback related to TH installation is the requirements that come with its use. If a company is going to install TH on their piping system, they’re going to have to hire a certified electrician to do it. This translates into more time and more money. What’s more, once it’s installed, it’s permanent, whether it gets in the way or not. And while TH works well with metal piping instruments, due to the conductive nature of the material, it doesn’t work with anything else.

Benefits of the Powerblanket Solution

TH amounts to installing heated wires to the external surface or your pipes and instrumentation, but this isn’t the best option when it comes to protecting your assets from the cold. Applied heat, and insulation are what’s needed, and TH only offers conductive heat. Powerblanket valve heaters and instrumentation heaters, on the other hand, offer the best combination of both. With Powerblanket, you can easy install, uninstall, reinstall our rugged vinyl blanket to add an insulated wrap of direct heat to keep your instrumentation at the ideal temperature, regardless of the weather.

In addition to this, Powerblanket instrumentation heaters offer the most consistent and efficient heat distribution on the market. With our patented technology and proprietary blend of materials, Powerblanket heaters provide even and regulated heat distribution throughout the entire surface area of application. What’s more, our custom approach makes our technology available to fit the biggest, smallest, or most uniquely shaped instruments around.

So whether you’re looking to protect small, large, or oddly shaped instrumentation, look no further than Powerblanket.

Amazon Invests in Wind Power Powerblanket® Invests in Epoxy Curing

That’s right, Amazon, the online retail giant is also concerned with renewable energy. So much so that they’re investing big in new wind turbine projects in North Carolina. Now Powerblanket and Amazon have something in common, with Powerblanket investing plenty of time and resources in proper epoxy curing for the wind power industry.

 

 

Amazon and Renewable Energy

In 2014, AWS (also known as Amazon Web Services) announced a respectable, and perhaps lofty, goal of running the entire organization on 100 percent renewable energy. How are they going to do so? Well, two wind-power projects in North Carolina and Indiana are a perfect start. AWS recently disclosed the fact that they have contracted with an organization known as Iberdrola Renewables to build wind turbines in a region in North Carolina. This project is expected to come to life sometime in December 2016 and will involve 208 megawatt wind turbines in Perquimans and Pasquotank counties.

This new addition to the landscape will be aptly name the Amazon Wind Farm U.S. East (that U.S. East part will be a good differentiator should Brazil ever decide to build wind turbines anywhere near the rain forest.) The reports state that this new wind farm will produce as much as 670,000 megawatt hours of wind energy per year. As a point of reference, that amount of electrical energy could power a small U.S. town for a whole year. We’re talking a town of roughly 200,000 to 300,000 residents, but the numbers are still impressive. Of course, Amazon isn’t going to be powering small towns. Instead, it will use the energy to power their AWS Cloud data centers.

In addition to this, Amazon announced another wind-farm project to undergo construction in Fowler Ridge in Benton County, Indiana. This one will generate around 500,000 megawatt hours and will come online before the Carolina project. As impressive as these projects are alone, they are still only part of Amazon’s renewable energy efforts. Word has it that the company is investing in solar energy projects too.

 

Powerblanket Also Invests in Wind Power

While we might not be supplying data centers with electrical energy harnessed by the power of wind, we are, nonetheless, vested in the industry of wind power. The construction of large wind blades involves large-scale epoxy curing that would be very costly or nearly impossible without the proper curing solution. This is why Powerblanket is proud to play a part by offering the best curing blankets around. Wind blade manufacturers use our blankets to ensure strong cure joints and fast turnaround times. Now, Powerblanket is happy to welcome Amazon to the wind-power family.

Heat Tape—And the Better Solution

Heat tape (or heating tape, as it’s sometimes referred to) is a way you can implement low-key freeze protection for your exposed pipes during the winter. In fact, this handy technology can even be used to safeguard instrumentation and other devices that are left out in the cold. However, as savvy as this approach sounds, did you know that there is a much better solution?

Heating Blankets Bolster Safety and Efficiency

Heat tape has its uses in very small applications, but in most scenarios, it can be like putting a Band-Aid on a broken bone. Such a technology offers direct heat only where the tape contacts the pipe or apparatus on which it’s placed. When used on metal pipes, the heat exchange is bound to spread, merely because metal is an obvious conductor of heat. With this in mind, then, we can see another limitation in the freeze protection offered by heating tape; it can only be used on heat conductive surfaces.

Aside from this, another problem with heating tape is the simple fact that it offers only heat. Such an approach provides no insulation against the cold. Insulation on its own isn’t enough; that’s for sure. But neither is heat. Instead, the proper combination for free protection and temperature regulation is the combination of both. And this is where heating blankets come in.

 

 

The Better Heating Solution

Now that we’ve sufficiently covered all the shortcomings of heating tape, we can address the characteristics of a far better solution. That far better solution is heating blankets, or heat blankets. Heat blankets are a combination of heat-distribution capabilities married with durable insulation for a myriad of industrial and commercial applications.

In the case of Poweblanket, we offer a revolutionary and patented approach to heating blankets. Our durable vinyl shells are capable of insulating assets in temperatures as low as -50° F. What’s more, Powerblanket heating blankets offer the best and most efficient heat distribution on the market. So if you have valuable material or equipment to protect from the effects of cold weather, give us a call today.

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Epoxy Curing For Boats and Other Water Craft

To many people, summer means time on the lake or in the ocean boating or jet skiing. But have you ever stopped to consider how boats and other water craft are built? In almost every case, the high-tech water vessels of today use some form of fiber construction and epoxy curing.

 

Boats at the dock

Epoxy Construction on Water Vessels

Not everyone stops to think about how their jet ski was built when their speeding across the lake at 40 mph. Nor do many think about the same sort of thing as they’re sitting in their finely crafted boat, fishing or watching friends or family water ski. But such a thought is certainly worth addressing, even if it’s long before or after all the fun is over.

Unless you’re out enjoying the water in an older, traditional wooden or aluminum boat, you’re likely sitting in a piece of modern engineering, the type that involves high-quality plastics, glass fibers (sometimes referred to as glass-reinforced plastics – aka: fiberglass) and on some occasion, even carbon fiber. Most boats and jet skis these days are built using such composite materials. And where such composites as these exist, there’s also the need for some heavy-duty resins.

Composites such as fiberglass and carbon fiber are bound together using high-grade epoxy resins. These resins both bind and coat the material in a hard, nearly impervious shell—making for very strong construction. For those familiar with epoxy curing, it’s apparent that the primary challenge is temperature. Most epoxies cure well above room temperature, and when you’re dealing with construction as big as boats, such an endeavor becomes all the more difficult.

Some boat manufacturers take a lot of time and resources to construct large ovens or rooms in which they can pump heated air in order to bring the temperature up to the ideal range for epoxy curing. As you can imagine, such an undertaking requires a lot of patients, not to mention it creates a lot of downtime.

This is why Powerblanket is pleased to offer the boat-manufacturing world a much better solution. With Powerblanket curing blankets, a manufacturer can saves thousands of dollars and hours of time just on one boat build. Our curing blankets allow epoxy to cure at its ideal temperature for as long as needed. What’s more, Powerblanket curing blankets are available in ready-to-ship and customizable sizes and shapes.

 

 

Curing Epoxy Resin On Wind Turbine Blades

Whether it’s for repair or initial construction, curing epoxy resin on wind turbine blades can be a tricky endeavor. However, with the right technology, this arduous process can be a whole lot easier.

 

Wind turbine blade on the ground

Wind Turbines: A Large Scale Application

The typical wind turbine blade ranges in length from 116 ft. to as much as 148 ft. That accounts for a big hunk of glass-fiber or carbon-fiber reinforced plastic. Either way you look at it, the curing process involved with such a beast is certain to take a lot of space. That’s why wind turbines are often created in pieces and then secured by joints.

Very strong, high-temperature epoxies are used for this process, but as anyone who’s worked with epoxy knows, the proper curing takes some extra heat. Can you imagine building a hot box around the joint of a turbine blade? Better yet, can you imagine having to stick that huge thing in an oven? The idea sounds ludicrous, and it is when you consider that there is a much better way of approaching the problem.

Instead of being left to the need of a hot box or an oven to properly heat cure epoxy resin on wind turbines, you could apply localized heat to the area that needs to be cured. That’s right, localized heat in the form of a revolutionary heat blanket that evenly distributes heat over the entire surface area of application. In addition to the amazing ability this blanket has of transferring heat, it also has the capability to regulate it.

By using thermostatic controllers, you can use such a blanket to cure epoxy at the ideal temperature. It’s simply a matter of setting the temperature range to the proper level for your application and then waiting for it to work its magic. With customization possibilities, this blanket is available in as many sizes as necessary, so you can cure even the largest cure joint. Shoot, you could even cure the whole blade if you want.

 

 

Heat Trace: What You Should Know

When you think of the phrase “heat trace” or “heat tape,” what images come to your mind? Perhaps you haven’t ever heard of these terms before, and now you’re curious. When it comes to heated pipes for protection against the ruthless cold of winter, trace heating is the system by which the warmth you need for your pipes flows. Read here to learn more about the uses and value of trace heating.

 

Powerblanket Xtreme Drum heater

Understanding How it Works

Trace heating does just as its name implies: an electrical surface or wiring is linked to some other surface (whether it be a pipe, flooring, etc) and traces its way along that surface’s path. This, in turn, provides and maintains heat where it’s most needed. Thermal insulation is wrapped around both the supplier of heat and the recipient of heat to ensure stable, permanent warmth. The apparatuses involved with heat trace (also known as heat tape) can vary in size and surface area, depending on the physical dimensions of the application.

 

What Are the Benefits of Heat Trace?

Think of the value of trace heating as twofold—accommodating functionality and increasing throughput. While its prime purpose is to protect and insulate against undesired invasions from the elements (i.e. keeping substances flowing that can solidify or slow in cold temperatures), thus accommodating functionality, it can also be utilized to increase the efficiency of operations. For example, heat trace can drastically improve the throughput of gas transportation and extraction by increasing tank and pipe pressure—being that gas slows as it cools.

Drawing upon the fundamentals of heat trace, Powerblanket uses a patented blend of technologies as a highly efficient and less expensive means of distributing heat evenly over the surface of any application. Whether you need to protect a piping system, valves, manifolds, instrumentation, gas tanks, liquid storage, or anything else from cold weather or depreciation in efficiency, Powerblanket technology can enable you to do so with greater ease and dependability.

 

 

Powerblanket: The Cure for Your Curing Needs

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When it comes to curing, Powerblanket helps its customers do more with less. That is, we help you accomplish greater cures and shorter curing times without relying on traditional methods for post-curing assistance. Powerblanket can help you increase your throughput without substantially increasing production costs.

 

Wind blade epoxy

Why Use Assistance for Post Curing?

Whether you cure epoxy or resins for wind-turbine blades, aircraft wings, flooring, carbon-fiber construction, or some other similar composite-manufacturing application, you know that proper curing takes time. The only problem is that time cost money in business, and every manufacturer is looking for ways to increase efficiency and throughput.

Well, we keep that in mind. In fact, we produce a line of products specifically designed to increase curing efficiency and decrease curing time. Powerblanket curing blankets can provide heat up to 180° F to assist in both initial cures or post cures. Applying heat to your curing process enables resin to cure faster, decreasing the time it takes to move from one step of manufacturing to another. What’s more, when using a Powerblanket curing solution, you don’t have to throw money into costly curing ovens any more.

Now, you may be thinking: yes, well, I can ensure even heat delivery with an oven, and even heating is vital to a proper cure. We agree, even heating is imperative, and that’s why our heating blankets offer patent technology that provides even and efficient heat distribution through the entire application. Applying a curing blanket to your project, whether for initial cure, post cure, or both will help you increase the throughput of your manufacturing process significantly, allowing you to increase production in order to save time and increase revenue.

So, the moral of the story is this: curing doesn’t have to take as long or cost as much as it does traditionally. Reach out to a Powerblanket sales rep to get started on curing your curing needs now.

 

 

New Fast Cure Coating Outperforms Epoxy Curing Process?

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Watco®, a UK based, international manufacturer of paint, coatings, varnishes, and other flooring products, has recently announced a new line of floor paint and primer that is supposed to reduce curing times significantly. And this, of course, translates into less downtime for any floor-painting job.   

 

Watco

Watco’s Polyaspartic  Floor Paint

According to Watco, the company’s new line of polyaspartic floor paint can reduce the completion time of floor-painting jobs by significant numbers. In fact, their claim is that this new paint reduces a three-day cure into a one-day cure. With a change as drastic as this, one can imagine the valuable time a painter and crew can save when applying such a fast-drying paint to their flooring jobs.

An increase in the speed of curing means an increase in productivity. And what contractor doesn’t want that? Watco’s Fastcoat line of floor paint uses polyaspartic resin technology instead of the epoxy-based agents used in other floor paints. Yet as grand as these systems can be, they don’t necessarily compare apples to apples against epoxy coating systems. Even though the epoxy curing process takes longer, when unaided, such floor coatings are typically better at resisting high moisture-vapor-emission rates and long-term, rugged use. The quality of epoxy coatings is often superior in the end. With that said, the relatively new technology of polyaspartic-based floor coatings certainly has some unique advantages and perks for the types of application scenarios that can make sensible use of them.

 

Powerblanket and the Coating Business

When it comes to the paint and coatings industry, Powerblanket works to play an important role in increasing the efficiency and longevity of paints, epoxies, primers, and coatings of all kinds. With Powerblanket heating solutions, professionals can keep these temperature-sensitive products safe from the detrimental effects of cold weather. And as far as the curing process is concerned, well, Powerblanket helps with that too.

Our industry-leading curing blankets increase curing speeds and strength by substantial levels. So whether you’re coating your floors with the time-tested efficiency of epoxy-based coatings, or are venturing into the realm of polyaspartics, look to Powerblanket to protect your products and assist in the curing of them.

 

 

Two New Epoxy Resins Hit the Market

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Epoxy resins continue to advance in functionality and application possibilities. With this in mind, a company known as Hexion Inc. has produced two new resins that are geared toward increasing the production rates and processing flexibility for carbon- fiber automotive parts.

 

Two New Epoxy Resins Hit the Market

Epoxies for the Automotive Manufacturer and Beyond

Hexion Inc. has recently introduced an addition to their product line of thermal-latency resins. The company’s new product EPIKOTE™ TRAC 06170 epoxy resin/EPIKURE™ TRAC 06170 curing agent system was created with carbon-fiber manufacturing procedures in mind. Hexion has claimed to have optimized something known as the glass transition temperature of this new system. By doing so, Hexion has enabled faster curing times and part stiffening.

Such qualities play a vital role in the efficiency of large-scale, carbon-fiber production. And with the new Hexion product, manufacturers can expect faster processing windows and assembly procedures that require fewer complex parts for post-application curing. Hexion’s new addition to their family of epoxy resins offers manufacturers the additional help they need for epoxy curing.

 

Powerblanket and Epoxy

While Powerblanket may not produce epoxy resins, the company does play a vital role in the industry, offering solutions that aid in the epoxy-curing process. Powerblanket and its engineers are well aware of the temperature-sensitive nature of epoxy resins and their curing needs. For most epoxies, the ideal temperature for curing is above 75° F, and this means that additional heat is needed for faster curing times.

Even with the new epoxy resins produced by Hexion, Powerblanket® curing blankets can increase curing speeds and overall strength significantly. Now imagine how fast your epoxy can cure when combining the two. Powerblanket is of the same mind as Hexion: epoxy curing can be faster and more efficient, and with Powerblanket patented technology as an addition to the process, epoxy curing can go quicker than you ever imagined. So whether you’re using Hexion’s new epoxy or not, we can guarantee your epoxy will cure faster and stronger with our help.

 

 

Safe Epoxy Storage

Epoxy storage can be just as precarious as epoxy application, if you don’t know what measures to take. When it comes to storing epoxy, especially in large quantities, such as in drums and barrels, you’ll want to make sure you keep a few things in mind.

four 55 gallon drums on a pallet

Epoxy Storage

If you’re storing epoxy in large quantities, and this goes for other resins similar to epoxy, then you’re going to need to make sure that you are storing your chemicals both safely and efficiently. Storing your epoxy for long-term warehousing means that you’re going to be storing it in large containers, probably barrels or drums. In fact, bulk distribution of epoxy is often accommodated by storing the chemicals in 55-gallon drums.

Of course, if you’re ordering epoxy in such a quantity, then you’re going to need to handle the delivery with care, make sure you’re storing the drums properly, and ensure that you’re disposing of the drums legally and safely once you are done with them. To begin with, epoxy (and its hardeners and curing agents) needs to be stored in tightly sealed containers. In addition to this, they also must be stored in a dry environment where temperatures are never close to freezing.

Sometimes sealed containers and dry environments can be easier to provide than an ideal temperature range. Epoxies are very temperature sensitive, and maintaining the ideal temperature for storage can be tricky when you’re keeping the chemicals in bulk storage units during winter months. This will either necessitate a nice and toasty warehouse, or else additive measures for storage efficiency—such as drum insulators and drum heaters.

Clean Up

Now that precautionary measures have been addressed, it’s just as important to remind ourselves of the proper steps to take when we come in contact with epoxy, whether accidentally or as a simple byproduct of application procedures. The first thing to remember is the importance of wearing protective gear. Whether you’re handling epoxy in drums for storage purposes or are applying it as a coating or resin, you need to always wear your protective gear.

Additionally, before ever removing your protective gear, you’ll want to make sure all your tools and empty storage drums are thoroughly cleaned or safely disposed of. Once this is done, you’ll need to make sure to wash any clothes that have come in contact with the epoxy and to shower if needs be.Epoxy is a strong material with as many sensitive qualities as it has potent characteristics. However, when handled appropriately, epoxy is a very handy and valuable material.

What Epoxy Is Made Of

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Have you ever stopped to think about how often we make regular use of things we know very little about? For example, most of us can use computers proficiently, but how many of us actually comprehend the science behind their inner workings? Plenty of us have probably used epoxy too, but how many of us know what epoxy is made of?

 

What Epoxy Is Made Of

Epoxy and Epoxy Resin

Perhaps the first thing to understand about this class of chemicals is this: there’s a difference between epoxy and epoxy resin. The difference is simple. Epoxy is merely cured epoxy resin. Or in other words, epoxy resin is epoxy in its liquid form. For any epoxy, there are two primary parts to the equation: the resin and the curing agent. When the resin and the curing agent react together the hardening process ensues.

The resin itself is made of bisphenol (and there is more than one type) and epichlorohydrin. The most common type of bisphenol is a combination of acetone and phenol. Maybe you’re asking yourself now: where on earth does phenol come from? Well, when first it was discovered it came from coal tar, but nowadays, chemist extract if from petroleum (like so many other useful compounds). Now as far as epichlorohydrin is concerned, well, it’s derived from something called allyl chloride.

As it turns out, the curing agent plays a big role in how the epoxy turns out when it’s cured. There are numerous curing agent recipes, but one of the more common is a combination of amides and polyamides (which amounts to a variation of ammonia—the difference being the replacement of a hydrogen atom with a carbon + oxygen pair).

The Point

Maybe you feel like you better understand epoxy now, or maybe you don’t. But either way, you can still make use of the product for a variety of purposes. Whatever you use it for, there is one thing to remember: epoxy is temperature sensitive. In fact, most epoxies cure best at temperatures far above the normal range for ambient air. Keeping epoxy curing at the ideal temperature becomes increasingly difficult when the needle drops. But, then again, that’s why epoxy curing solutions exist.

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Boat Manufacturers Enjoy a Climb in Sales

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When the recession hit in 2008, the boat-manufacturing industry went the same way as many others did. Sales went down, and the amount of boats being built has waned ever since. Of course, all that has changed recently. The economy is gradually beginning to recover from the last several years of digression, and boat sales are beginning to climb again.

 

Boat Building in Florida

Yacht in the water

Of all the places experiencing an increase in boat sales, Florida seems to be one of the more heavily influenced markets. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, Florida’s increase in boat sales has climbed as high as sixteen percent from 2012. Claims from local resellers report that sales are even working ahead of this number now.

Due to an increase in sales, several resellers and boat manufacturers are planning or are already executing an increase in workforce. What’s more, some are even opening additional locations of business. Matters such as these were confirmed at the recent Daytona Boat Show this last fall. The increase in sales means there is obviously an increase in demand, and that can only mean more boat building to come.

 

Powerblanket and Boat Building

Boat manufacturing is another of the many industries Powerblanket serves with our patented heating solutions. In fact, we’re able to save manufactures thousands of dollars and days of manufacturing when compared to traditional or alternative heat-applied methods.

Boat manufacturing includes an epoxy-curing process that demands high temperature to expedite the cure and to ensure uniformity and strength of a boats shell. When curing epoxy, it’s imperative to have constant and uniform heat applied throughout the entire area of the cure. Powerblanket® Curing Blankets deliver a consistent and even distribution of heat to the entire surface area, making epoxy curing a snap.

 

 

How Does Wind Power Compare to Other Forms of Energy?

Have you ever wondered how wind energy compares with other forms in efficiency and cost? Some of the old misconceptions regarding the wind industry are being debunked, and the future looks bright, indeed.

 

Wind Turbine

The Longevity of the Wind Industry

Wind-industry experts have plenty to say about how wind power is shaping up to be an extremely viable energy source. In fact, among all the renewable-energy sources on earth, wind power is second only to hydro power. (As impressive as this comparison is, growth data actually shows that wind energy is likely to surge ahead of hydro power in efficiency and usage in the near future.) Despite the woeful claims of anti-wind advocates, wind energy is a clean and highly-efficient means of renewable energy, and more and more people are beginning to realize it.

As it stands, wind turbines cost very little to generate the same amount of electricity expected of other forms. In some cases wind turbines can cost even less to produce the same level of energy, but in many cases, the results are equal. However, the costs savings aren’t contingent only on operational aspects. Maintenance, location, initial construction, environmental restrictions, and many other matters are all elements that need to be taken into consideration when contemplating the most cost-effective and clean way of producing energy.

 

Wind Farm

The Wind Industry in Numbers

The past thirty years have seen the cost of wind turbines drop as much as 14%, and the projections for the next 20 years are suggesting an additional 20%-30% drop. With numbers like these, it’s clear that investments in wind power are a wise choice.

For reasons such as these, Powerblanket® is proud to assist large wind-power companies in their construction efforts. With Powerblanket® heating solutions, wind-turbine production runs more efficiently—due to assistance in the epoxy curing process. For more information on Powerblanket® and how we assist in the curing of epoxy resins, click here.    

 

 

9 Things to Consider in an Epoxy Curing Solution

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When you’re dealing with epoxy during less than favorable weather, it’s not always about freeze protection. In fact, some epoxies will only cure properly in conditions above room temperature. This makes it nearly impossible to cure epoxy in cold weather, unless you have the proper solution, that is.

 

epoxy curing on a concrete floor

9 Things to Consider When Curing Epoxy

A good majority of epoxy resins and hardeners require high temperatures in order to cure. Since ambient temperatures are almost never high enough, even in an Arizona summer, epoxy needs assistance to cure fully and properly. If the epoxy resins are not heated high enough and evenly enough, the chemical, mechanical, and heat-resistance properties become compromised. In fact, some epoxy resins require heating in steps to prevent overheating from exothermic reactions.

With all of this in mind, there are several matters you should consider when choosing a solution for your epoxy-curing needs. Here are nine specific guidelines that will help you find a product that will enable proper curing in all the areas concerned:

 

  1. Prevent uneven gloss and poor inter-coat adhesion by finding a solution that evenly heats over     the entire surface area.

When dealing with a heating solution, it’s easy to discover any number of methods or products that will heat the respective surface. However, merely heating the surface isn’t all you need. You need to be able to apply an even distribution of heat to the entire surface area in order to ensure that you get the proper gloss and inter-coat adhesion. So in short, spotty heating applicators won’t cut it.

  1. Since the warmer the resin and hardener, the lower the viscosity, find a heating solution that will maintain the proper application temperature.

Some products and methods of heating surfaces are like stove top ranges, meaning there aren’t a whole lot of options. If you come across a solution that only has the choice of hot and extra hot, there’s no way you’re going to be able to maintain the ideal temperature for your epoxy curing. You need something you can bring to the ideal temperature and keep there for the duration of the curing process.

  1. Since a cool epoxy resin is more difficult to meter and mix with a hardener, find a customizable heating solution that will properly fit the size and shape of your application to maintain maximum control.

 

 

Epoxy curing blanket

Not only do you need heating capabilities for the curing process, but you need them for proper application too. This is where a handy heating apparatus able to fit the bucket, drum, or barrel your mixing in becomes invaluable. And again, it has to do more than just heat. It has to maintain temperature.

  1. Ensure less maintenance downtime by finding a heating product with a track record of performance.

No one wants to chance wasting time and money on an experimental solution. You need something that you know will work time and time again.

  1. Ensure that the epoxy resin and hardener will flow through dispensing pumps easily by maintaining the appropriate heat.

This goes back to the third point mentioned. In order for you to push a cool and viscous epoxy resin through any applicator without a hitch, you need first to heat it and bring the viscosity down.

  1. Ensure more cross-linking by warming the materials while mixing to initiate a better chemical reaction.

Back to mixing again—for the proper chemical bond, you need ideal temperature. Thus, the ideal solution would work both for the curing and mixing process.

  1. Prevent air bubble entrapment and safeguard the strength and effectiveness of the epoxy by having the right heating solution.

If your epoxy isn’t mixed at a high enough temperature, it could bubble and compromise the strength and longevity of the finished product.

  1. Prevent contamination by not using Kerosene or propane heaters, since they can inhibit the cure as well as contaminate epoxy surfaces.

Powerblanket drum heating blanket

There are numerous reason why Kerosene and propane heaters don’t work well as heating solutions for epoxy curing, and the possibility of contamination is only one of them.

  1. Prevent under-curing, as it can cause de-laminations and product failures. This can only be done by finding an evenly-heated and temperature-controlling solution.

Lastly, if your epoxy doesn’t fully cure because of temperature lows, it’s simply isn’t going to last, or look right—for that matter. To prevent this, you need to find a solution that applies the previous 8 guidelines.

 

The Powerblanket® Solution

Thankfully, with Powerblanket® patented heating technology, you don’t have to worry about the challenges epoxy poses on itself anymore. As far as the curing process is concerned, Powerblanket® offers curing blankets that provide a temperature-regulated, even-distribution of heat that will enable your epoxy to cure under ideal conditions. For storage and application, we also offer barrel, drum, and bucket heaters that allow you to heat your epoxy to the ideal temperature, and in a very economical way too.

 

 

The Future of Wind Power Looks Bright

According to the Global Wind Energy Council, the future for wind power looks to be a bright one. Over the next several years, growth looks to sky rocket.

 

Wind mills in a field

By the Year 2020

They say hindsight is 20/20, but in the case of wind energy, foresight could be 2020 as well—the year 2020, that is. According to the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International, the global wind power market could as much as triple by the year 2020.

Based on the fourth edition of the Global Wind Energy Council’s Outlook, expectations conclude that wind power could supply up to 12% of the world’s electricity by the year 2020. What’s more, the same report speculates that this could create as much as 1.4 million new jobs, and in turn, reduce CO2 emissions by over 1.5 billion tons per year.

But the good news for the wind-power industry doesn’t stop there. According to the same report, experts speculate that by 2030, wind power could supply more than 20% of the world’s electricity. “It is clear that wind energy is going to play a major role in our energy future”, said Steve Sawyer, Secretary General of the Global Wind Energy Council, (GWEC.net).

Additionally, wind power not only fuels our need for electricity without any harmful byproducts, but it also (along with solar energy) doesn’t use any of our precious natural resources to produce it. The wind’s going to blow whether we strategically and carefully place turbines in its path or not, so we might as well take advantage of it by procuring energy in a safe and pollution-free way.

 

More from the Experts

“The most important ingredient for the long term success of the wind industry is stable, long term policy, sending a clear signal to investors about the government’s vision for the scope and potential for the technology”, said Sven Teske, Greenpeace senior energy expert. “The Global Wind Energy Outlook shows that the industry could employ 2.1 million people by 2020 – 3 times more than today, given the right policy support,” (GWEC.net).

GWEC.net

Global Wind Energy Council

http://www.gwec.net/global-wind-power-market-could-triple-2020/

 

 

Epoxy and Cold Weather

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Anyone who’s worked with epoxy knows that one thing it doesn’t mix well with is cold weather. So what do you do to protect your epoxy when cold weather hits? Don’t worry. This blog contains the answer.

 

epoxy consistencyEpoxy and Its Fickle Nature

According to most reports, the vast majority of epoxies are applied and maintain their liquidity best within a range of 30 degrees.  Assuring that the low end of this range is maintained is of paramount importance when cold weather hits. For most epoxies, 60 degrees or above (but not over 90 degrees) is the ideal range for operation and storage. If your epoxy drops below this, it could drastically affect its characteristics.

Keeping your epoxy from falling below this mark when temperatures reach winter-time lows can be a difficult undertaking. It becomes a matter of simple physics. To maintain a 60 degree temperature for your epoxy means that the surrounding temperature can’t be any less than 60 degrees.

If you’re storing your epoxies in buckets, barrels, or drums in an uninsulated warehouse, then you’re likely paying a considerable amount to keep your warehouse heated to room temperature during the coldest months of the year. Even if your warehouse is insulated, keeping it at no lower than 60 degrees will still stress the energy bill. Not to mention, transporting your epoxy during the winter months become even more difficult and risky.

Yet, what if you could keep just the epoxy at 60 degrees or more without worrying about the ambient temperature around it? What if you could let your warehouse temperature drop to as low as 50 degrees to save on heating costs throughout the winter, but not worry the least about your epoxy stores? What if you could transport your epoxy in unheated box cars and trucks without worrying about it getting too cold? Well, the good news is: you can!

 

Powerblanket drum heaterEpoxy and Powerblanket’s Patented Technology

With Powerblanket’s patented heating technology, you don’t have to worry about these common dilemmas any more. Powerblanket’s barrel, drum, and bucket covers allow you to heat your epoxy storage to the ideal temperature in very economical way. 

 

See the benefits of Powerblanket as compared to band heaters by downloading our free case study. See for yourself!

 

Get the Case Study

American Coatings Association Petitions the President

The America Coatings Association (ACA) recently submitted a call to action for the president of the United States. However, they weren’t alone. Fifteen other organizations joined with them.

 

A Call for Further SafetyWhitehouse

According to the American Coatings Association’s report, they, and fifteen other organizations, sent a letter to the president and his administration, asking for them to take specific actions to increase safety and security in chemical plants throughout the nation. Along with these proposed regulations, they (that is, ACA and their advocates) suggest that such measures will enable the growth of the chemical sector, and in turn, secure more jobs and stability in the industry.

When it comes to safety, it goes without saying that it should be the first priority of any plant, especially a plant that produces potentially harmful materials such as paint and other coatings. If ACA’s hopes are realized, this will only secure more stability and longevity for the greatest asset in the chemical industry—its employees—as well as the second greatest asset—their products.

This move, if supported by the president and his administration, could mean that the paint and coatings market will only increase its present growth potential, adding to a promising outlook after 2013.

 

Powerblanket’s Commitment to Safety

Powerblanket invests considerable interest in the paint and coatings industry, and we fully endorse the reality that safety comes first. That’s why all our products pass rigorous standards. When we work to help our customers protect their materials from the threat of cold weather, we do so with safety in mind.

Powerblanket manufactures products that are compliant with cETLus Class I, Division 2 hazardous location certification (CID2). This means that our products are engineered to operate safely in conditions where an explosive atmosphere of flammable gases is not likely to occur under normal conditions but still exists as a potential hazard.

What’s the bottom line? Powerblanket products are safe, reliable, and durable. We offer a superior heating solution for the industries we serve. So whether you’re storing paint or some other chemical mixture, Powerblanket’s got it covered, safely.

 

 

What Is The Best Heating Method For Curing Wind Turbine Blades?

Wind Farm with giant wind turbinesThere she blows! Or maybe she doesn’t, if it’s too cold outside. There are many different methods that have entered the market throughout the years to heat wind turbine blades during the curing process. Some methods are more effective than others, and some are definitely more expensive. Let’s talk about some of the different methods for curing the epoxy on wind turbine wings.

Different Methods to Cure Wind Turbine Blades

Hot Air Blowers

Have you ever tried curing a wind turbine blade using hot air blowers? Blowers are expensive to buy and expend a lot of energy and electricity.

Kilns

What about kilns? Many of the world’s largest wind turbine manufacturers use kilns. Kilns require extensive maintenance and repair, are unsightly, require continuous fuel to heat and may emit environmentally hazardous toxins into the air. Talk about counterproductive to the environmentally-conscious wind power!

Heating Blankets

Worker hanging from giant wind turbine to make repairs

What about heating blankets? A heating blanket is a modern approach to curing wind turbine blades; an energy efficient solution, which has revolutionized effective heat spreading. This technology ensures the heat is effectively and evenly distributed, while continuously maintaining optimal temperatures. Heating blankets are portable for use in the plant or out in the field.

Customers have told us that Powerblanket® heating blankets have the best heat to low power requirement for curing wind blades.

Heating blankets are safe for the environment, provide an efficient and even heat source at optimal temperatures, and come in customizable sizes to meet industry needs. Additionally, heating blankets reduce the amount of time it takes to cure the epoxy for wind blade repair. This equates to increased profitability because more wind turbine blades can be repaired in a shorter amount of time.

So when considering the best solution for you to cure wind turbine blades, take a look at your business and determine which curing method provides the most benefit to you and your customers.

Learn More About Custom Curing

Custom Heating Solutions Are Sometimes Your Best Option

Custom Heating BlanketsWith months of winter conditions and cold weather upon us much focus and attention in many industries turns to the need for heating solutions. And while standard products are often the first line of defense, custom heating solutions often present your best option.

As mentioned earlier there is no question that there are standard product alternatives readily available on the market.  This includes products like barrel heaters, tote heaters, concrete heating blankets, and ground thawing blankets. However, when your application challenge calls for specific heating requirements “standard” may not provide the optimum result you’re in need of. There are several factors that influence the need to seek out a custom solution:

  • The unique nature of the application
  • The design and specifications of the tank/vessel/container to be heated
  • The specifications and heating requirements of the material to be heated
  • The customer expectations relative to desired results

 

One of the primary factors mentioned as having influence over whether or not a custom solution would provide the best results are the design and specifications of the tank, vessel, or container that houses the material needing to be protected. To clarify this here are examples of some of the tanks, vessels, and containers we’re referring to:

  • Drums / Barrels / Pails
  • Totes to include Diesel Exhaust Fluid Totes
  • Gas Cylinders to include Propane and Specialty Gases
  • Specialty Tanks to include Frac Tanks
  • Water Transfer Trucks
  • Water Storage Tanks
  • Hydraulic Fluid Tanks
  • Vac Trucks

 

There are numerous industries that have an ongoing need for heating products and are not necessarily influenced by the seasonal or cyclical temperature fluctuations. On the other hand there are those industries where heating and freeze protection needs are part of their pre-planning strategy. Their businesses can suffer work stoppages, shutdowns, critical material installation delays, reduced or halted productivity, equipment breakdowns, product failures, missed deadlines; all impacting profitability and the bottom line. These industries include:

  • Concrete & General Construction
  • Oil & Gas Services
  • Oil & Gas Production
  • Pipeline
  • Chemical & Coatings
  • Lubricants
  • Diesel Exhaust Fluid
  • Railroad & General Transportation

 

The point to be made is that there are a number of industries whose business can be affected by cold weather. There are several sources of heating solutions that offer the benefits associated with protecting products and equipment to include freeze protection. Perform the due diligence; do the research. Keep in mind that among those who offer these solutions there are a few reputable sources who offer both standard products as well as custom solutions to include application advice, engineering expertise, and technical support. Use discretion in making your purchasing decision, your business depends on it!

Epoxy Curing With Heating Blankets

How epoxy cures - graphEpoxy consists of two components, resin and a curing agent.  Many epoxies have an initial cure that results as the two components are combined and the cross-linking occurs to provide the desired material characteristics.  In order to achieve the desired material characteristics, many epoxies require a heated cure cycle.  During the cure cycle there are key elements that are necessary to meet the requirements of a good cure to provide the qualified properties of the epoxy for its specific intended purpose. Unfortunately, most available heating solutions for curing epoxy are expensive and ineffective.

 

Effective Epoxy Heating Solutions Require:

  • Even heat applied across the epoxy
  • No elevated temperature or hot spots
  • Precise temperatures
  • Proper time and temperature at each phase of the cure cycle

 

In order to meet proper cure cycle requirements many companies rely on extremely expensive ovens, high temperature and costly autoclaves. These types of facilities and tools are not only significant capital investments, but are also expensive to operate. Additionally, these types of heating solutions require a significant amount maintenance and calibration.  For lower temperature epoxy cures, heat blankets provide a very reliable and efficient method of curing.  Technology now exists in some heating blankets on the market, especially with Greenheat technology that provides even heat distribution, tight temperature control, and programmable temperature controls. These heating blankets are very economical to operate.

This new technology is ideal for the epoxy curing process because it’s so critical to provide even, consistent heat to help the epoxy cure properly. Large operations with loads of cash to spend, may like some of the standard heating solutions.  However, most businesses operate on a budget and closely watch their expenses. These businesses will probably find some of the newer technology, like heating blankets to be the ideal choice.

Custom Heating Solution

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Custom Heating BlanketsI receive daily requests from people looking for a custom heating solution and design to fit very specific applications. These requests vary in application from simple to complex, but the initial discovery for a solution is relatively the same.

Although there are various standardized heating solutions available, to determine the right solution, either standard or custom, a few initial questions need to be understood. The first of the discovery questions is to identify the desired result of the application which is generally one or a combination of the following:

  1. Freeze Protection:  Generally to protect from the elements or cold climate
  2. Temperature Maintenance:  Maintain a specific, constant and optimal temperature
  3. Added heat or Increase Temperature:  Add heat  and Increase temperature higher from starting point

 

For example, a pipe heating application may require higher energy/wattage to thaw a frozen pipe and then settle to a moderate power/wattage for continual freeze protection and flow control long term.

An epoxy / composite curing application may require pre-heating at higher temperatures prior to the epoxy being applied and then maintained at a higher temperature for optimal curing.

Once we understand the problem, we ask these types of questions to find the best solution:

  • What type of system is being heated:  drum/bucket, tote, tank, cylinder, pipe or flat surface?
  • What material is the container or surface made of (i.e. tank wall, drum wall)? How thick?
  • What is the substance being heated (i.e. water, oil, pipe contents, concrete, frozen ground)?
  • Is this a flowing system? If yes, what is the rate of flow?
  • What is the beginning temperature of the contents
  • What is the final desire temperature?
  • What temperature range is acceptable?
  • Are there upper or lower temperatures where the substance or contents will be damaged?
  • What are the boundary conditions (i.e. ambient temperature, wind velocity, indoor or outdoor application and other environmental conditions)
  • Is there a time frame requirement for the initial heating?
  • What power source is preferred? Are other options available?
  • Do you require CID2 or UL/CSA certified product?

We recently completed a project for a large chemical company to solve their freeze protection problems. The company has a chemical solution for its customers that is stored in large 4,000 to 8,000 gallon stainless steel tanks. Their customers are located throughout various climates in North America. Their solution is water based and begins to freeze at roughly 32°F, they ultimately desired freeze protection but also to maintain between 40°F -70°F.

The question for us became how to provide a “one size fit all” customized solution for the various climates. We created a modular custom design to be adjustable per region and tank size that came in two pieces.

One piece was the basic heated wrap that goes around the bottom portion of the tank and the other piece is added to the basic system. Other heated wraps can be added based on temperature of the area.

Our engineers calculated the amount of heat and insulation required to combat freezing temperatures and wind chill to maintain optimal temperatures in these various climates. This provided to be a simple and effective custom solution to what appeared to be a fairly complicated application.

How Can I Evenly Cure My Epoxy Without Burning It?

When it comes to curing epoxy, nothing is more important than a constant and uniform heat distribution. With a proper cure, you ensure the integrity and strength of your product. When epoxies are properly cured, they will become solid. The picture below is a good example of how epoxy cures depending on heat and time.Epoxy curing graph

An uneven cure of epoxy can have several negative consequences, including:

  • Discoloration/Yellowing
  • Color Variation
  • Blushing
  • Uneven Gloss
  • Poor Inter-Coat Adhesion

9 Things to consider in an Epoxy Heating/Curing Solution

  1. Prevent uneven gloss and poor inter-coat adhesion by finding a solution that evenly heats over the entire surface area.
  2. Find a heating solution that will maintain the proper application temperature. The warmer the resin and hardener, the lower the viscosity.
  3. Find a customizable heating solution that will properly fit the size and shape of your application to maintain maximum control. A cool epoxy is more difficult to meter and combine with the resin and hardener.
  4. Ensure less maintenance downtime by finding a heating product with a track record of performance.
  5. Ensure that the epoxy resin and hardener will flow through dispensing pumps easily by maintaining the appropriate heat.
  6. Ensure more cross-linking by warming the materials while mixing to initiate a better chemical reaction.
  7. Prevent air bubble entrapment and safeguard the strength and effectiveness of the epoxy by having the right heating solution.
  8. Prevent contamination by not using Kerosene or propane heaters since they can inhibit the cure as well as contaminate epoxy surfaces.
  9. Prevent under-curing, as it can cause delaminations and product failures by finding an evenly heated and temperature-controlled solution.

 

Got Frac Tank Problems?

Got Frac Tank ProblemsFrac Tanks are huge. This poses a problem when trying to heat them or protect them from the cold. With our custom solutions at Powerblanket®, no heating problem is too big. When asked about the benefits of heating frac tanks, Joel Fillion, Vice President of Engineering, said:

The benefits of heating the frac tank, include greater productivity and efficiency by increasing the viscosity of the contents, whether the contents are water, water with additives, or oil. Standard spray-foam insulation methods are expensive and lack the ability to transmit heat to the product.

Working in a Hazardous Location?

Safety is the top priority with those working in hazardous locations. Because we also value safety, our frac tank heating systems are available for areas designated as CID2  T4.

Here is an idea of what it looks like to protect and heat your Frac Tanks with Powerblanket custom products:

 

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