A customer called us last month because he was having all kinds of trouble fully curing the pit resin in a repair. There are various causes that may contribute to this issue including low quality resin, a curing tab material that blocks UV light, and the wrong wavelength of UV light.
Through a process of elimination the culprit was identified as the UV lights the customer’s technicians had been using successfully through all of last summer. If you’re thinking that this isn’t quite making sense let me share some UV light trivia with you.
A UV light used to cure windshield repair resins works best when it has a chance to “warm up”. This means turning the lamp on for a few minutes, especially in the colder winter months, so that the bulb is emitting UV at its maximum intensity for the given power source.
The light’s power source will also have a significant effect on the maximum intensity of the UV light emitted and the time a UV bulb takes to reach that intensity. In cold weather the “warm up” time increases greatly. High quality 12 volt and 115 volt UV lights are powerful enough to cure windshield repair resins very quickly at most any temperature, but in this particular case the lights in question were powered by two AA batteries, which only produce around 3 volts. Lights powered by fully charged AA batteries are handy for a backup solution, but the batteries suffer significant power loss with even limited use, especially in cold weather.
The AA powered lights had seemingly worked fine during the bright summer months, but as winter set in the skies grew cloudy, temperatures dropped, and the curing times were dramatically affected. Mother Nature went from working with the windshield repair technicians to against them.
In this situation, an upgrade to a more powerful 15020 light solved the curing problem and there have been no issues since. Having an inexpensive AA powered light as a backup is a great idea, but not using the right primary equipment from the beginning will usually cost you time and money. Delta Kits representatives can help you choose the right equipment for your work environment, so if you are not sure which light is best for you please don’t hesitate to give us a call.