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.
Temperature Influence in Epoxy Curing
The picture below is a good example of how epoxy cures depending on heat and time.
An uneven cure of epoxy can have several negative consequences, including:
Poor Inter-Coat Adhesion
9 Things to consider in an Epoxy Heating/Curing Solution
Even Heat: Prevent uneven gloss and poor inter-coat adhesion by finding a solution that evenly heats over the entire surface area.
Hold the Temperature: Find a heating solution that will maintain the proper application temperature. The warmer the resin and hardener, the lower the viscosity.
Meet Your Needs: 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.
High Quality: Ensure less maintenance downtime by finding a heating product with a track record of performance.
Viscosity: Ensure that the epoxy resin and hardener will flow through dispensing pumps easily by maintaining the appropriate heat.
Maintain the Mix: Ensure more cross-linking by warming the materials while mixing to initiate a better chemical reaction.
No Air: Prevent air bubble entrapment and safeguard the strength and effectiveness of the epoxy by having the right heating solution.
Keep it Clean: Prevent contamination by not using Kerosene or propane heaters since they can inhibit the cure as well as contaminate epoxy surfaces.
Stay Solid: Prevent under-curing, as it can cause delaminations and product failures by finding an evenly heated and temperature-controlled solution.
Powerblanket Curing Solutions
It’s obvious that temperature control plays a huge role in epoxy curing. Staying in charge of the influence that temperature has on the curing process is the difference between a successful cure or wasted time and material.
Powerblanket supplies the best epoxy adhesive and resin temperature equipment on the market. You can find more about epoxy curing solutions here.
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.
Manufacturers are finding more and more uses for epoxy each year. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common epoxy resin applications.
Back in 1947, Howard Hughes used epoxies to construct his famous “Spruce Goose.” He assembled the enormous timbered aircraft with 3 layers of epoxy on it’s distinctive wooden frame. Epoxy and the aerospace industry have been inseparable ever since. In the world of today, aerospace manufacturers use epoxy resins to create aircraft skins, bond materials together, and make anti-corrosion coatings. Engineers are finding more and more ways to use composite fiber materials to make aircraft lighter. As composite fiber use increases, so does the demand for epoxy resins.
Wind Turbine Repair
As the world turns to alternative forms of energy, wind turbines are becoming a more common sight. Turbine blades are constantly exposed to the elements and eventually are in need of repair. These repairs are due to bird strikes, sand blasting, lightning strikes, salt corrosion, hail, ice, rain, and insects. Pitting and erosion on the surface of the blade ruin a turbine’s aerodynamic efficiency. Addressing these defects increases the turbine’s energy productivity. Due to the immense size and location of these blades, these epoxy repairs must be completed on site.
Skilled turbine repair technicians either build a platform to reach the blades or repel from above to accomplish repairs. Epoxy curing out in the elements is very difficult. Heating and protecting epoxy patches during curing is absolutely critical in outdoor wind turbine repair.
Epoxy flooring is installed in both residential and commercial buildings. High traffic areas (pedestrian or vehicular traffic) like garages, walkways, loading docks, and game courts commonly use epoxy flooring. Epoxy flooring is extremely strong and seals and protects concrete sub-grade from a variety of structural and visual defects.
Furniture and Decor
Epoxy is continually crossing over from function to form as its uses expand into furniture and decor. Epoxy resin inlays and molds can create an infinite number of projects like intricate custom tables, counters, and other home accents. Proper curing for decorative epoxy is absolutely critical because any discoloration or deformity will greatly affect the finish product.
Because epoxy creates a waterproof seal, it is ideally suited for maritime applications. Epoxy saturated wood efficiently keeps moisture out. Epoxy is also used as an adhesive to bond materials together and to create an anti-corrosion coating.
The Science of 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 a proper cure takes time.
The initial epoxy curing stage is referred to as “open time.” During this period, the epoxy is liquid, workable, and easily formed. If epoxy is manipulated after the open time has passed, it will not properly bond with the surface it is being applied to.
In this second stage, the chemical reaction of curing begins to kick off. It becomes tacky, gel like, and is no longer workable. Applying moderate heat during this stage greatly shortens the overall cure time.
Here, the epoxy is hard and has reached about 90% of its cure strength. If left at room temperature, the epoxy could still take weeks to fully cure to 100%.
Curing Heating Methods
Curing is an exothermic process. When epoxy is confined to a small area (like a mold), it generates enough heat to cure quickly. However when poured, rolled, or spread in thin coats over a large area, it takes much longer to cure. Using safely applied heat during this process can greatly speed up your epoxy cure.
In any industry, time is money. Waiting long periods for epoxy to cure at room temperature jeopardizes project schedules and your bottom line. Some manufacturers turn to heating methods to speed up their cure times and achieve a stronger cure.
Manufacturers in the aerospace and maritime industries will sometimes construct or purchase large heated enclosures. These enclosures house aircraft and marine craft sections to speed up epoxy curing. These chambers can be extremely expensive and take up a lot of space on the factory floor. Constructing these chambers also requires a great deal of time and manpower.
For more reasonably sized epoxy applications, some turn to heat guns and lamps to speed up curing. However this heating method does not supply controlled or evenly distributed heat. Some areas will become hotter than others and curing will not happen evenly. You also run a greater risk of overheating sections of your epoxy. Overheating epoxy can cause materials to melt, smoke, or burn. It will also create dangerous fumes and unpleasant surface defects.
Outdoor Epoxy Repairs
Controlling curing conditions in a factory or warehouse is one hurdle when working with epoxy. However, outdoor repair jobs on airfields, wind farms, and marinas presents an entirely new set of problems. How do you protect your epoxy from the elements and ensure a quick strong cure?
Powerblanket Curing Solutions
Powerblanket produces a line of products specifically designed to increase efficiency and decrease curing time. Powerblanketresin curing blankets can provide heat up to 180° F to assist in both initial cures or post cures. Applying safe 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.
Our curing blankets are portable and easy to install, making them the perfect solution for epoxy repairs out in the field. With heavy duty, weather resistant insulation and evenly distributed heat, you can cure quickly and completely no matter what mother nature throws at you.
Curing doesn’t have to take as long or cost as much as it does traditionally. Contact us today to find the right curing solution for your needs at 844.455.3210 or [email protected]
The Powerblanket family began our journey back in 2005. Since then, our patented, American-made temperature control products have solidified our expertise the industrial heating and cooling community. We excel at helping the industrial and manufacturing community get back to work.
With our ever-expanding range of customizable heating during the winter, and cooling during the summer, Powerblanket helps businesses stay operational year-round. By finding new ways to remove temperature roadblocks, Powerblanket empowers companies to preserve workplace safety, prolong equipment life, prepare for emergencies, and get back to work.
Industrial Heating from Powerblanket
We are the leading provider of standard and custom-designed industrial heating blankets. No matter what industry you’re in, Powerblanket can help you improve your business. We have created custom heating solutions for companies all over the world. Our blankets are extremely versatile and can be used across a wide variety of industries.
If you can build it, haul it, or store it…we can heat it. Because pre-fabricated options are not always a good fit, our engineers are at the ready to create tailor made heating to spec. We specialize in engineering custom solutions for even the trickiest of heating problems. Powerblanket has the quickest lead time in the market for custom products. First, our world-class engineering team learns your specific heating needs. Next, we provide you with your custom quote within 1-3 days. Then, we deliver your custom heating products within 3 weeks.
How Our Products Work
Our heating blankets save you time, energy, and money by putting the heat precisely where it is needed. After a simple installation, you are now harnessing the power of conduction and heating your materials with direct and even heat. Our advanced weather-proof insulation provides a protective barrier from the elements and reduces heat loss. We then combine insulation with efficient heating elements to direct heat downward right into the item that needs heating instead of losing it to the ambient air.
Powerblanket Product Families
Barrel and Bucket Heaters
Protect your fluid storage during the winter with a wide range of drum, barrel, and bucket heaters. Direct, evenly distributed heat eliminates hot and colds spots, solves viscosity issues, and prevent your fluids from freezing. We also provide a range of specially calibrated blankets for coconut oil, honey, and wax. These blankets are programmed to stay within the exact temperatures these specific fluids need.
Tote and DEF Tote Heaters
For larger volume industrial fluids, these specially designed tote heating blankets are perfectly sized and shaped for steel, poly, and DEF totes. Our tote heaters protect the chemical composition of your fluids while still giving you pump access during winter conditions.
Gas Cylinder Heaters
When gas tanks drop in temperature, the pressure of their contents drops as well. As a result, it very difficult to get any gas flow from a tank during the winter. Gas cylinder warmers evenly and safely heat the cylinder so that flow rate increases and operations can continue running.
Bulk Material Heaters
How do you heat multiple containers of all shapes and sizes, or bulky pallets of materials? Hot box bulk material warmers provide even heating to anything stored within.
Ground Thawing Blankets
Frozen ground can bring a number of industries to a full halt during the winter. During sub-freezing temperatures, our high powered ground thaw blankets direct heat deep into the frost line to prep ground for digging, utility work, concrete pouring, and more.
Concrete Curing Blankets
Winter concreting is notoriously difficult. Construction heating can have a huge impact on jobs, deadlines, and the overall bottomline. From roofing, to spray foam, painting, and concrete, so many aspects are affected by the weather. Curing problems can derail entire construction projects and cause costly delays. Our concrete curing blankets provide heat, insulation, and cure concrete 2.8x faster than conventional insulation blankets. Electric concrete blankets are hands down the most efficient solution for strong and fast winter concrete curing.
Snow Melting Safety Mats
Free your hands and your time during the winter by setting your snow shovel aside. Simply lay down our Summerstep snow and ice melting mats on your doorway, stairs, and walkways. In addition, Summerstep mats provide traction and reduce injuries from slips and falls all winter long.
For an added level of control and automation, our Beacon Smart Controllers put temperature control at your fingertips. With the user friendly app, you have access to continuous remote temperature monitoring. You can also set heating schedules and receive temperature alerts right from your phone or tablet.
Industrial Cooling from North Slope Chillers
Our North Slope Chillers line represents the flip-side of our total temperature control expertise. Our industrial chillers, Fluxwrap fluid channel blankets, Keg Coolers, and Ice Wraps provide the perfect cooling solutions for when the heat is high.
Total Temperature Control
When your business feels the sting of wasted revenue through equipment damage, product loss, or the financial crunch of the “off season” due to unworkable climate conditions, Powerblanket has the solution. With Powerblanket, there is no “off season.” Contact us to find the perfect temperature control solutions to keep your work flowing at 855.993.6294 or [email protected]