Windshield repair resins come in a variety of colors, viscosities and qualities but most have one thing in common; they contain acrylic acid. Acrylic acid etches the glass to provide maximum adhesion. Because the number one goal of windshield repair is to restore the structural integrity of the glass, the resin’s ability to bond with the glass is very important.
So, while acrylic acid is a key ingredient in most top of the line windshield repair resins, like all acids it is important to follow proper safe handling procedures. If you get resin on your equipment or a customer’s windshield wipers, upholstery or paint job, it may cause damage. Acid based resins may also cause skin irritation if handled irresponsibly. In fact, in rare cases individuals may develop a hyper-sensitivity to acrylic acid after repeated exposure to the chemical. If left untreated hyper-sensitivity can lead to a burning sensation or open sores.
With this in mind, there are several ways you can protect yourself from the effects of acrylic acid in resin. First, you should always wear nitrile gloves when doing a repair or cleaning up afterwards. Nitrile gloves are able to block the corrosive effects of acid, unlike latex gloves which cannot. A barrier cream such as Derma-Shield can also be used to increase the amount of protection you receive.
Delta Kits offers acid-free resins. While you should still take precautions to avoid getting these resins on your skin, acid free resins are less likely to cause a hyper-sensitivity. A slightly lower bonding strength is the trade off for using an acid free resin, but one that many windshield repair technicians, especially those who have experienced hyper-sensitivity, are willing to accept. Keep in mind, acid free resins can still damage paint and upholstery so best practices for protecting your customer’s vehicle must still be adhered to.
This issue is far more complex than just deciding to choose acid-free or to stick with an acid based windshield repair resin; there are many other variables to consider. Always buy a high quality resin product from a manufacturer with a reputation for selling safe products. Saving a few cents on every repair is not worth risking your health for and inexpensive resin products often contain a very high concentrate of acrylic acid or other chemicals that greatly increase the chances of developing hyper-sensitivity. Delta Kits acid based resins have a unique combination of ingredients that include a very low concentration of acrylic acid, resulting in exceptional bonding strength with minimal health risks. Therefore, very few Delta Kits users find the need to use acid free resins unless they have used other brands of windshield repair resin that caused skin irritation prior to switching to Delta Kits resins.
In conclusion, the best practice is to always use nitrile gloves and/or another barrier product formulated to protect your skin from acids when working with windshield repair resins and always use a high quality resin product from a trusted supplier. Should you ever develop sensitivity to acid-based resins, acid-free resins are an option that will allow you to continue working and providing a quality service. Free samples of acid-free resin are available upon request from Delta Kits.