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 Hot Box and Curing Blankets for Post Curing

When it comes to post curing, maintaining ideal temperature is a must. And if you’re post curing small to medium sized parts, then you may find yourself using expensive ovens, or else taking a whole lot of time and money to build your own. Thankfully, you don’t need to do either of these with the Powerblanket Hot Box on hand.

Post Curing: Bring the Heat

Post curing is a process during mold making that consists of increasing heat to a mold after the initial curing phase. Doing so allows the mold to cure faster, as well as enhances the physical properties of the mold. During post curing, heat must be evenly transferred to the mold at a constant rate as to not interrupt the natural curing process and cause irreversible damage. The best way to heat molds during the post curing phase is to use an insulated hot box.

Powerblanket Hot Boxes/Bulk Material WarmersThe Powerblanket Hot Box

Powerblanket’s Hot Box (sometimes referred to as a Bulk Material Warmer) works great at maintaining the needed temperature for post curing small to medium sized parts. These insulated heating boxes provide an even spread of warmth to give the mold the exact increase of temperature desired.

The Hot Box’s durable construction allows for secure and lasting installation, while its ease of setup makes it transportable and storable. The Powerblanket Hot Box can be easily assembled, disassembled, and reassembled. It gives you the option of bringing your parts to the Hot Box or bringing the Hot Box to your parts. Our Hot Boxes hold product at a temperature of up to 120° F, and the optional adjustable thermostatic controllers allow temperatures to be controlled with precision.
So if you need to keep your epoxy cures at temperature for prolonged periods of time, a Powerblanket Hot Box just might be the thing for you.

 

Powerblanket Hot Box pallet warmerOur Premium Hot Box (HB64PRO-1440) Offers:

  • A larger footprint (48” x 48”)
  • An internal steel frame (48” internal height)
  • The highest wattage (1440 Watts)
  • A controller for precise temperature regulation

 


heated curing blankets
Post Curing with Powerblanket Curing Blankets

Of course, after talking about the Hot Box, you may be thinking, “Yeah, but what if what I need to cure is bigger than 48” x 48?” Well, there are two simple answers to this question. Depending on your application needs, we could build a custom size Hot Box for you. But if one of our resin curing blankets would work better, we would certainly suggest this as an option.

If you have curing needs that go well beyond what our Hot Boxes can handle, in regard to size and temperature, then our curing blankets are the ideal answer. Our high-temp flat blankets have high watt densities and produce higher temperatures for post curing epoxies and resins that require ranges beyond 100° F – 120° F, up to 400°F.  What’s more, these blankets can be made to cover large areas simply and effectively.

If you need it heated,Powerblanket has a solution for it. Whether it’s carbon fiber construction, wind blade repair, floor coatings, or some other resin post curing application, Powerblanket has all the options you need to consider paired with a team of world renowned engineers to ensure your project specifications are met. For more information, call 844.245.6604 or visit [email protected]

 

Custom Heating Solutions Don’t Take as Long as You Think

Custom Heating Blankets from PowerblanketOften times when we think of customization, or taking a custom approach to something, the first thing that comes to mind is time. “How long is that going to take?” we ask ourselves. Well, in the case of Powerblanket custom heating solutions, not too long at all. Our custom approach to heating solutions doesn’t take as long as you might think. In fact, in most cases, Powerblanket can turn around a custom project in one to two weeks.

 

Custom is the Way to Go

Many applications can be adequately covered by our ready-to-ship product line, but there are equally as many projects that need a custom solution. Powerblanket works with many companies in a myriad of industries to supply custom heating solutions to a wide range of needs. So what does a custom heating solution process look like when working with us? We’ll show you.

Powerblanket’s custom heating solutions can be tailored to fit just about any application. If you can build it, produce it, or store it, Powerblanket can cover it. What’s more, completing a custom project with us can be summarized in three easy steps:

 

  1. Contact us and tell us the details of your application. (Many of our custom projects start with a simple phone call to one of our reps. From here, you can send any and all information we’ll need to form the proper heating solution for you. Additionally, we do offer what we refer to as the white glove treatment. In other words, we can come onsite and get all the details on our own.)
  2. We’ll design a custom heating solution for your application, based on the information and feedback we gather or you deliver to us. (Whether you choose to send us information or want us to come onsite, we will get all the details we need.)
  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.)

 

Case In Point

When Enduraplas’s plastics manufacturing process needed heating assistance, Powerblanket was able to deliver a custom tank heater that increased efficiency beyond expectations. Enduraplas’s manufacturing process uses propane extensively—making their large propane tanks an invaluable asset. However, cold weather threw a real damper on the whole thing, impeding the flow of propane significantly.
With the Poweblanket custom heating solution in place, however, Enduraplas was able to run their manufacturing processes through the coldest of weather.

 

Gold Coast Yachts is another great example of how Powerblanket custom heating saved immense amounts of time and money. Gold Coast Yachts builds custom, carbon-fiber yachts, and the curing process for the large sections of carbon-fiber frames needs high-temperature exposure for long periods of time. Previous to implementing the Powerblanket custom curing blankets, Gold Coast had to architect, build, and utilize large custom ovens for every cure. In other words, they had to build a large shed around every frame in order to pipe heat into the enclosure and cure the resins at the proper temperature. This process, as you can imagine, took a whole lot of time, manpower, and money. With Powerblanket, however, Gold Coast Yachts was able to save thousands of dollars and hours of time on each project.

 

When Cenovus turned to Powerblanket to design a custom valve and transmitter heating solution, Powerblanket was able to turn the product around with ease and speed. Powerblanket set out to create a custom heating system that eliminated the risk Cenovus had of losing money to freezing valves and transmitters. After Powerblanket completed the project, Cenovous no longer had to worry about the cost associated with downtime and the thawing of frozen instrumentation and valves.

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Powerblanket Receives Manufacturer of the Year Award from UMA

If you haven’t seen this headline somewhere else on the web by now, we’re happy to tell you all about it here. Utah Manufacturers Association recently awarded Powerblanket something we’re pretty happy about. Read on to learn more about the UMA Manufacturer of the Year Award.

 

Brent Reddekopp  receiving UMA Award for PowerblanketUMA and Manufacturer of the Year

Utah Manufacturers Association (UMA), recently awarded Powerblanket the prestigious award  of Manufacturer of the Year. This award is given annually to the Utah-based manufacturer that proves to be the most innovative contributor to their space. There’s even more to it than this, but we’ll get to that.

UMA has been around since 1905. The organization prides itself on offering the “voice of industry” in the state of Utah, and they’ve been doing so for over 107 years now. UMA has clearly been talking Utah economy for a long time, but talking isn’t all they do. UMA is a trade association, and their goal is to enhance and improve the business climate in the state. UMA doesn’t only offer insight and expertise in the business of manufacturing, but the organization also has considerable experience in the legislative processes of state government. This is how they can do so much to vie for the interests of Utah businesses and the overall economic prosperity of the state.

UMA’s Manufacturer of the Year Award embodies the mission of UMA in multiple ways. By awarding the company that not only proves innovative in their respective markets, but also offers leadership in their industry, UMA’s award encourages and rewards the same idealism by which their organization operates. Powerblanket was chosen to receive this award for 2015, based on the embodiment of these characteristics and more. In fact, why don’t we just give it to you in their own words. According to UMA, Powerblanket received the award “for their outstanding performance in operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

Powerblanket is honored to receive such accolades from a high quality establishment like UMA. The credibility of UMA and the Manufacturer of the Year Award lends a great addition to our own image and ethos as a company devoted to “operational excellence, economic achievement, workplace safety, community outreach, and fidelity to the principles of free enterprise.”

So, from all of us here at Powerblanket, thank you, UMA for this great privilege.

 

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.

Epoxy Curing For Boats and Other Water Craft

Boat Building Epoxy

To many people, summer means time on the lake or in the ocean boating or jet skiing. Have you ever considered how boats and other water craft are built? High-tech water vessels of today use some form of fiber construction and boat building epoxy.

boat building epoxy

Epoxy Construction on Water Vessels

Unless you’re out enjoying the water in an older, traditional wooden or aluminum boat, you are 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. Today, most boat and jet ski construction uses composite materials, and this also requires heavy-duty resins.

Boat Building Composites

High-grade epoxy resins bind composites, such as fiberglass and carbon fiber. 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 is apparent that the primary challenge is temperature. Most epoxies cure well above room temperature, and when the construction project is as big as boats, the endeavor becomes all the more difficult.

Gold Coast Yachts and Improved Epoxy Curing

Gold Coast Yachts manufactures high-end, carbon-fiber watercraft.  In June 2014 President Richard A. Difede grew increasingly concerned about the cost and time it took for their post-curing of large carbon-fiber joints on the yachts. The epoxy joints needed to cure at 145° F for an extended period of time, and the procedure Gold Coast used took too much time and money.

Building an Oven

Gold Coast had to design, build, and utilize large custom ovens for each section of yacht frame that needed high-temperature exposure. In other words, they were building a large shed around each and every frame. Workers used two-by-fours and sheet rock and created a sealed unit to pump heat into. The process took a good deal of time and manpower, not to mention the extra costs for equipment.

Building the makeshift oven was only half the battle. Once they completed building the unit, someone had to man the oven for the duration of the cure to regulate the temperature. To prevent a compromised process and time delays, they could not allow the temperature to fall below 145° F or climb too high above it.

Even while pumping the constructed oven with ample heat, they were still having trouble penetrating through all the layers of carbon fiber. If the right amount of heat didn’t penetrate through all layers, the cure wouldn’t set completely.  This long, costly, and inefficient process began to eat into the company’s valuable time. 

Powerblanket and Boat Building Epoxy Curing

“When Richard contacted us, it was obvious that he needed something far less-expensive and time consuming than his present method,” the Powerblanket sales rep said. “I discussed with him the details of our epoxy-curing blankets, and he was excited to try them out. What started with a two-foot-by-two-foot test blanket quickly snowballed into many more orders.”

Difede and his team soon found that the Powerblanket curing solution worked exceptionally well and eliminated the need for the time consuming prebuilt ovens.  With a thermostatic controller on each blanket, they could dial in the ideal temperature and have confidence the process would run smoothly. Powerblanket’s patented technology distributed heat evenly through the entire application and increased the speed of the cure by leaps and bounds.

After trying out the small demo blanket Difede and his team purchased several additional blankets in multiple sizes. It wasn’t long before they decided to take it one step further. After learning about Powerblanket custom heating solutions and the ability to manufacture custom blankets for just about any application, Difede purchased several custom-sized blankets for current and future projects.

Curing at Ideal Tempertures

Powerblanket offers the boat-manufacturing world a much better solution. With Powerblanket epoxy and resin 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.

Epoxy Specifically Developed for Boat Building & Boat Repair

West System offers two-part (resin and hardener) epoxy systems developed for use in boat building and boat repair. These products are formulated to provide maximum physical properties with ease of use and versatility. With the 105 System, users can blend resins, hardeners, fillers and additives to get the right combination for their project’s requirements. 105 Resin pairs with one of four hardeners based upon the user’s needs for working time and coating clarity. Adjust the mixtures handling and cured physical properties with fillers and additives.  This product allows users customize the epoxy to their exact needs for boat construction and boat repair.

 

 

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.