The summer repair season is approaching and that means dealing with really hot windshields. What does it mean for the end seals on your bridge?
Question: If you place a bridge on a really hot windshield, will the end seals melt?
Answer: The material Delta Kits uses to make end seals is injected at 482 degrees Fahrenheit, or 250 degrees Celsius. The seals may soften slightly in the heat you’re working in, but it’s not likely you will ever see one melt. The suction & vacuum cups Delta Kits uses are made from a different material, but they too have a very high melting point. Even the nitrile gloves Delta Kits sells have a working temperature of up to 230 degrees Fahrenheit or 110 degrees Celsius. So, when you start to see the tires melting on your car, you may also start to see a problem with your Delta Kits end seals. – (Brent Deines, Delta Kits)
Following are tips to help keep business running smooth while reducing the risk of crack outs.
Whether You’re Doing a Mobile Repair or Working in Your Shop:
- Remember, if a windshield is too hot to leave your hand on comfortably, it’s too hot to repair. Delta Kits also offers the IR-102 Infrared Digital Thermometer to give you the exact temperature of the windshield. The optimum temperature to repair a windshield is 70-100 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Do not spray cold water, alcohol or any other liquid on a hot windshield. When checking for the presence of a hydrophobic coating (i.e. Rain-X, Aquapel, etc.) the temperature of the water needs to be similar to the temperature of the glass.
- When cooling the windshield, make sure to do it gradually. Sudden temperature changes greatly increase the chances of a crack out.
- If you’re using the air conditioner to cool the glass, use the floor vents to cool the entire cabin of the car to minimize the risk of cracking the glass. To direct cold air onto the damaged area is very risky.
- Always make sure the resin temperature is within 10 degrees of the glass temperature. Cold resin on hot glass or vice versa may make the damage spread.
- For techs working in shops, remember that UV can still reach your windshield, even if the car is pulled into the shop. So, make sure the car is pulled far enough into the shop.
- Mobile Techs:
Move the vehicle into a shaded area. Before you drive out to the job, you can ask the customer to park the car indoors, under a tent or under an awning so the glass will be cooler when you arrive, saving you time and energy.
- If you’re stuck in the middle of a lot and can’t find shade, make sure to roll the side windows down or open the doors to let built up heat escape from inside the car.
- Cover the damaged area with a Delta Kits BD100 Bubble Dome or UV shield. If the UV shield you use is clear, be sure to shade the glass using a hood protector or a towel to help keep it cool.
- Protect your injector and other equipment from the sun. Be sure to clean your injector in accordance with your manufacturer’s instructions to keep it functioning properly.
Three Common Problems Resulting from Doing a Repair in Direct Sunlight (Without Following the Proper Procedures):
- For damage with legs radiating from the center, it’s quite common for the resin to begin to cure before it reaches the ends of those legs if proper UV blocking procedures are not applied. Resin begins to cure as soon as it’s exposed to the UV light. If you find that you are having trouble getting resin to the very ends of your star break legs, this is likely the cause.
- Another common problem is a form of delamination, often referred to as a “flower” or a “daisy effect”. A repair performed on an extremely hot windshield will often lead to a breakdown of the inner safety layer of the windshield. When the glass is hot, that inner layer is much softer and more easily breached when resin is injected into the damaged area. The resin displacing the laminate causes the resulting watery looking flower shape around the repair.
- Resin can cure in your injector and in bottles. Equipment and supplies left out in direct sunlight may become inoperable if not properly cleaned and/or stored.
Be sure to check with your tooling manufacturer regarding specific products and remember that your goal should be to avoid rapid temperature changes to the windshield you’re repairing.