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.

 

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Grave Digging and Ground Thawing

We’re gradually approaching warmer weather now, but it’ll still be some time before the ground thaws and makes digging a lot less difficult. That’s why we’d like to introduce you to our Ground Thawing Blankets. For those in concrete, grave digging, utility maintenance, or any other digging / ground-prep-related project, Powerblanket® Ground Thawing Blankets can be a really big help.

 

image-ground-thawing-blanketsFrom Grave Digging to Concrete Prep

Whether you’re laying concrete or preparing a funeral plot, our ground thawing blankets can make the process a whole lot easier. Powerblanket Ground Thawing blankets help to thaw frozen ground prior to digging. And in the case of preparing ground for a funeral in the winter or early spring, ground-thawing assistance can make the process run a lot smoother. Here are some words from a satisfied customer who used our ground thawing blankets for their business:

“Your blankets are absolutely excellent. Thanks to Powerblanket, we were able to quickly thaw the ground and complete our job. In fact, we estimate a savings of 10 hours per site, equaling a savings of $5,000 already. Calculating this into our thousands of sites, the savings are huge! We are excited about the time and money Powerblanket has saved us and look forward to future savings.”

Our patented blend of technology and our use of durable materials enable us to deliver high watt density throughout the entire area of application, making ground thawing through electrical heat transfer safe and highly efficient. So when it comes to preparing a plot for burial, use our ground thawing blankets to make the task much easier.

 

Why Powerblanket® Ground Thawing Blankets?

  • High watt density thaws frozen ground fast
  • Quickly remove frost prior to digging
  • Melt snow and ice from ground prior to digging
  • Easily installed and removed
  • Easily transportable
  • Safe and certified to national safety standards

 

Some Things to Remember

Remember that thawing ground goes a lot faster if you first manually remove as much snow and ice as you can.  If you have a foot of snow, remove it all, then apply the blankets.  A foot of snow can add a day to the process if not removed first.

Secondly, thawing frozen ground through a layer of grass can be problematic.  The grass tends to hold the blanket up and away from the frozen ground, making the thawing process much longer than it would be with bare ground.  If a Powerblanket ground thawing blanket is left in place too long, it WILL kill the turf. So if keeping the turf healthy and intact is the goal, then don’t use a ground thawing blanket. However, if you’re trying to thaw the ground for digging purposes, then remove the grass first.

 

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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.

 

Hot BoxThe Powerblanket Hot Box

Our Hot Box product (sometimes referred to as a Bulk Material Warmer) works great at maintaining the needed temperature for post curing small to medium sized parts. Its 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.

 

hot-box-one-cordOur 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

 


9 Things to Consider in an Epoxy Curing Solution 2Post 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 flat 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. So whether it’s carbon fiber construction, wind blade repair, floor coatings, or some other resin post curing application, Powerblanket has a solution for it.

 

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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.

 

UMA AwardUMA 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.

 


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Higher Temperature Heating Solutions Now Available

Have you been awaiting higher temperature heating solutions in the Powerblanket line? Well, if so, your wait is over. The new higher-temperature, Powerblanket 400 line is now available!

 

Powerblanket 400 Insulated Band HeaterWhat 400 Offers

So what makes Powerblanket 400 different from the standard line of Powerblanket products? Increased heating capabilities, that’s what. The Powerblanket® 400™ industrial heating blankets offer new high-temperature abilities for industries that need higher heat application.

Powerblanket 400 heating blankets are able to reach higher temperatures than the standard Powerblanket product line. How high, you ask? If you guessed 400° F, you’d be right. The increased heating capabilities of the Powerblanket 400 heating blanket come as a result of increased wattage and high temperature aluminum heat spreading technology. With 300 watts per square foot of surface area, these blankets deliver a lot of heat. These blankets offer high-powered, high-temperature heating for jobs that need oven-like temperatures.

Like so many other Poweblanket models, the new Powerblanket 400 products come in both 120 volt and 240 volt models. Our Powerblanket 400 band heaters are the safe and efficient alternative to traditional silicone band heaters, and our Powerblanket 400 custom options allow for a tailored approach to your specific project. Our proprietary blend of technology has long set us apart from our competition and has enabled us to provide the best, most even heat distribution on the market. Now, with the Powerblanket 400 product in the arsenal, we’ve added to our technological heating approach. The Powerblanket 400 series makes use of high-efficiency aluminum heat-spreading technology, creating increased heat density and a completely even distribution of heat.

But it doesn’t stop there either. These new heating blankets also include silicone-coated, 2nd generation fiberglass shells. These fiberglass shells are extremely durable and flame retardant. Where other silicon heat solutions are known to be somewhat unsafe in hazardous conditions, Powerblanket 400 heaters are as safe as all our other products. Since the silicone shells are insulated, there’s no risk of burns or flames if they’re touched by a hand or an unexpected spark. All these features have allowed us to create a solution fit for many heave duty projects, such as resin curing, welding conditioning, manufacturing processes, and much more.

 

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Powerblanket Programmable Logic Controllers

As innovative as our industrial heating blankets are on their own, how cool would it be if you could monitor them all from a central location? Well, you can. With the new Powerblanket Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC) you can keep track of all your blankets and see exactly what’s going on with each.

 

These PLCs are the Bee’s Knees

What makes these PLCs so great is the monitoring capability you have with them. A programmable logic controller is an industrial computer control system that continuously monitors the state of input devices and makes decisions based upon a custom program to control the state of output devices. Sounds pretty wow, right? But just in case that was a little too much tech talk for you, here it is in plainer English…

Using Powerblanket PLCs on Powerblanket products simply means that you can monitor and regulate all the temperatures in all your blankets (both the temperature inside the blanket and the temperature on the surface of the blanket). What’s more, you can make needed adjustments on various blankets or various zones of a single blanket too.

However, like all your products, these PLC systems aren’t just a one-size-fits-all solution. They’re entirely scalable. This means you could set your system to measure just one temperature zone, and set it to switch only one blanket based on that temperature. Or you could have your system set to measure 200 temperature zones for 100 different blankets. There’s no upper limit to the number of temperatures or blankets you can monitor and switch with these PLC systems.

Here’s an example of just how helpful these PLCs are. A particular blanket could be set to switch based on a specified internal temperature, so it doesn’t damage itself, while simultaneously, it can be set to maintain a certain surface temperature for curing something like an epoxy resin, for example. You could also set a group of multiple blankets to switch based on a maximum combined temperature or even the average of their temperatures.

 

Control Options

Temperature measurements aren’t the only control options these PLCs are capable of, however. Your blankets can be set to switch based on a schedule. This means you can set the temperature to ramp up to a certain level at a certain rate, then stay there for a certain amount of time, and slowly taper off or shut off completely. This allows you to set your blankets to automatically turn on at a predetermined time in order to prepare your material as needed, before workers arrive, perhaps.

In addition to schedule and temperature controls, you can also set alarms to be triggered if certain conditions are met. For example, if you have power failure, reach a temperature outside of your specified limits, experience circuit shorts, or a number of other similar dilemmas, you can set your blanket to automatically shut off, scale back on temperature, or produce an alarm.

In addition to this, all the data recorded in these protocols can be logged for record keeping or future analysis. The temperature, relay state (blanket on or off), current, voltage, etc. can all be recorded and sorted for your data needs. And all these PLCs can be set up for remote monitoring or remote control.

 

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Higher Temperature Powerblanket® Products Now Available

Have you been awaiting increased heating capabilities in the Poweblanket line? Well, if so, your wait is over. The new higher-temperature, Powerblanket 400 line is now available!

 

Powerblanket 400 Band HeaterWhat 400 Offers

So what makes Powerblanket 400 different from the standard line of Powerblanket products? Increased heating capabilities, that’s what. The Powerblanket® 400™ industrial heating blankets offer new high-temperature abilities for industries that need higher heat application.

Powerblanket 400 heating blankets are able to reach higher temperatures than the standard Powerblanket product line. How high, you ask? If you guessed 400° F, you’d be right. The increased heating capabilities of the Powerblanket 400 heating blanket come as a result of increased wattage and high temperature aluminum heat spreading technology. With 300 watts per square foot of surface area, these blankets deliver a lot of heat.  These blankets offer high-powered, high-temperature heating for jobs that need oven-like temperatures.

Like so many other Poweblanket models, the new Powerblanket 400 products come in both 120 volt and 240 volt models. Our Powerblanket 400 band heaters are the safe and efficient alternative to traditional silicone band heaters, and our Powerblanket 400 custom options allow for a tailored approach to your specific project.  Our proprietary blend of technology has long set us apart from our competition and has enabled us to provide the best, most even heat distribution on the market. Now, with the Powerblanket 400 product in the arsenal, we’ve added to our technological heating approach. The Powerblanket 400 series makes use of high-efficiency aluminum heat-spreading technology, creating increased heat density and a completely even distribution of heat.

But it doesn’t stop there either. These new heating blankets also include silicone-coated, 2nd generation fiberglass shells. These fiberglass shells are extremely durable and flame retardant. Where other silicon heat solutions are known to be somewhat unsafe in hazardous conditions, Powerblanket 400 heaters are as safe as all our other products. Since the silicone shells are insulated, there’s no risk of burns or flames if they’re touched by a hand or an unexpected spark. All these features have allowed us to create a solution fit for many heave duty projects, such as resin curing, welding conditioning, manufacturing processes, and much more.

 

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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 Invests in Wind Power Powerblanket® Invests in Epoxy Curing

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

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

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.

 

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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.

 

Curing Epoxy Resin On Wind Turbine Blades

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.

 

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