Curing tabs, curing strips, and curing tape likely seem like an inconsequential part of the windshield repair process. They’re nothing more than Mylar film cut to different shapes, sizes and thicknesses, used to hold the pit resin in place during the curing process. Right? The simple answer is yes, but there is more to these simple products than meets the eye.
A repair that is not covered completely during the curing process can fail as air may enter the break or the resin may run out. Because not all breaks are the same size, curing films come in various sizes so that all breaks can be covered efficiently. While curing tabs work great for small breaks (check out this video on their use), having multiple options allows you to pick the curing film that best fits the job. Whether that job is a long crack, a bull’s-eye, or a large combination break.
Curing strips are of the same material as curing tabs, only cut to a longer length, and both items are a good choice if you are managing multiple locations or technicians and inventory control is a concern. Begin thicker and more rigid, both tabs and strips will lay flat against the glass so you are sure to get a good seal.
Curing tape has its advantages as well and comes in 50 or 100 foot rolls and can be torn or cut to the exact length needed. Being thinner than tabs or strips, tape is more flexible but also more difficult to lay perfectly flat. The advantage with curing tape is that you can customize the length to fit the job.
One feature that all Delta Kits curing tabs, tape and strips share is that they do not block the UV light needed to cure a repair. This may seem obvious, but it’s a point worth making for the following reason. There are a surprising number of plastic film products that, although you may never suspect it, do block UV light. They include some plastic report covers, plastic wraps, and even sandwich baggies. The lesson here is that, if you substitute for factory products, make sure you know what you are getting.
In addition to holding the resin in place and keeping air out of the break, curing tabs, strips and tape serve another very important function. Most windshield repair resins are anaerobic adhesives, meaning that they require the absence of oxygen to cure properly. That does not mean glass repair adhesives will not cure if you do not cover them, but the time it takes for a full cure will be extended significantly. Always cover your Delta Kits windshield repair resins prior to curing.