For all you techs working in the heat, this one’s for you. Summertime is HOT… and in looking at repairs, direct sunlight and high glass temperatures can account for many difficulties that technicians run into on a day-to-day basis. What’s worse is that many times, techs are often unaware that hot weather repairs need a little more attention than others. In this month’s Tech Tip, we would like to address some of the challenges we face when preforming repairs in the summer heat and tips on how to perform the BEST repairs possible.
· Premature Curing: It is extremely important to cover repairs that are in progress so that UV rays to not reach your equipment or repair until you are ready for the curing process. The sun can cause premature curing, the breakdown of the PVB laminate, and even increase the risk of crack outs. When repairing damage with legs radiating from the center, it is quite common for the resin to cure before it reaches the tips of the legs if not properly protected.
· Delamination: The PVB laminate can soften in the heat, and if the windshield is not properly cooled to the correct temperature, delamination can occur. Often referred to as flowering or the daisy effect, delamination happens when resin gets in between the layer of softened laminate and the glass, causing a flowering shape around the repair.
· Crack-outs: These can happen due to rapid changes in temperatures and are another important reason for controlling the glass temperature.
PROPER WAY TO WORK IN HEAT
· Check Temperature: As a general rule, if the glass is too hot to leave your hand on comfortably, it is too hot to repair. Glass temperature should be between 70° F-100° F (21° C - 37° C) and the resin being injected into the damage should be within 10° F (6° C) of the working glass temperature to reduce the possibility of a crack out due to thermo-shock. Delta Kits recommends using an infrared thermometer to monitor glass temperature.
· Cooling the Windshield: Make sure to cool the windshield gradually. Rapid temperature changes greatly increase the chance of a crack-out. If you use the air conditioner to cool the glass, try to cool the cabin down first versus using the defroster vents directly on windshield. Avoid the temptation to spray the windshield down with a mist of water or alcohol; when checking for hydrophobic coatings, make sure the glass has come to temperature first before lightly misting. Additionally, you can leave the one window down and use the door to flush hot air from the cabin of the vehicle.
· During the Repair: Use any available shade possible. If you cannot find shade, make sure to roll the side windows down to allow built up heat to escape from the interior of the car. While performing the repair, use a UV shield or Bubble Dome to protect your work.
· Protect Equipment: It is equally as important to protect your equipment from direct sunlight as well, especially directly after the repair. Once finished, make sure to clean your injector as soon as possible to avoid any unintended UV curing.
Following these simple procedures will help you get the most out of your summer repairs!
For more information on repairs in direct UV light, call us and speak to a certified technician at (800) 548-8332.