How UV Epoxy Resin Is Reaching More Applications Than Ever Before
Epoxies have long been used across many industries for a variety of uses, including coatings, adhesives, and electronics potting. Traditional epoxies work by combining two separate components, the resin, and the hardener. When combined, these two parts undergo a chemical curing process. Different epoxies will have different curing rates, some lasting minutes and some taking days to cure fully. Practical UV epoxy is among the latest developments and can provide a number of benefits.
Instead of relying on the addition of a hardening compound, a UV epoxy is applied as a single component. The curing process is initiated by the application of UV light. With modern LED technology, this process can be used for more applications than it has been in the past.
UV epoxy resin can provide many of the same features as traditional compounds. Water resistance, toughness, and more are all available from different UV epoxy formulations. Requiring only one component is a key benefit over traditional epoxies, making it suitable for more applications. UV curing is also typically much faster than chemical curing, opening the door to even more uses.
Today, UV epoxy resins are used in many different applications. These are some of the areas that are making the best use of this innovative technology.
3D Printing With UV Epoxy
When people think about 3D printing, they think about fused deposition modeling. This is the process of laying down successive layers of plastics such as PLA and ABS to make a 3D part. UV epoxy resins make another type of printing possible, stereolithography.
This type of 3D printing involves the targeted curing of UV epoxy to form a 3D part. In consumer applications, this is achieved through LCD masking, while more advanced options make use of a precise UV laser. The technique is celebrated for its improved accuracy, high-strength parts, and speed.
Epoxy resins aren’t used solely as fillers, epoxy adhesives, and sealants. They are also often used to create entire parts with resin composite materials. Internal supports are often used to provide additional strength, with an external resin casing giving it the final shape and protection for interior components.
The primary benefit that UV epoxy resins provide in this application is increased speed. The UV curing process is much faster, allowing manufacturers to achieve higher throughputs. Improved control over the curing process also lets manufacturers make their production more consistent and reduce waste.
UV Epoxy Resin Coatings
Many types of epoxy coatings rely on solvents for application and curing. The compound is applied to the part to be coated, and cures as the solvent evaporates. This can take a considerable amount of time and creates a potentially hazardous area due to concentrations of evaporated solvents in the air.
UV epoxy makes this process much simpler. There is no mixing required, and the low viscosity of the resin allows for even coating. The UV curing process is many times faster than the conventional process as well.
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