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Curing with the power of light

News International-French

1 Mar 2016

JEC World 2016 - UV curing is a well-established technology in markets where easy processing, cure speed and material performance go hand in hand.

In UV curing, a reactive, usually solvent-free, material is applied to the substrate and polymerized by exposure to UV light. This polymerization, depending on the material thickness and type, takes only a few seconds.

UV technology brings the following key advantages to the composites industry: one-component system with virtually no pot life restriction, rapid throughput, cure only upon UV exposure simplifying waste processing, controlled and low energy consumption, low emissions and limited manufacturing footprint.

Because of these features, the technology is relevant to a broad range of composite applications. Some key application areas that have started reaping its benefits include filament winding of resin-impregnated fibres into cylindrical shapes, UV pultrusion and UV preimpregnated composite fibres. Potential applications go well beyond these areas.

The materials used for UV curing of composites are versatile, as the only chemical requirement is a (meth)acrylate (double) bond functionality. Based on the desired performance, epoxy, urethane or polyester acrylates are chosen, and then diluted with selected monomers to control viscosity and further fine-tune material properties.

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