Epoxy 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.