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WHAT IS UV?
Ultraviolet (UV) designates a band of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelength from 10 nm to 400 nm, shorter than that of visible light but longer than X-rays. UV radiation is present in sunlight constituting about 10% of the total light output of the Sun. It is also produced by electric arcs and specialized lights, such as mercury-vapor lamps, tanning lamps, and black lights. Although long-wavelength ultraviolet is not considered an ionizing radiation because its photons lack the energy to ionize atoms, it can cause chemical reactions and causes many substances to glow or fluoresce. Consequently, the chemical and biological effects of UV are greater than simple heating effects, and many practical applications of UV radiation derive from its interactions with organic molecules. According to Wikipedia.
Now the first intro is done with about UV lets talk about UV in our industry. UV light is used to start the curing process of a paint or product. For this curing process to start a photo-initiator is used. This is a chemical that makes the paint go hard. Usually, this requires a nanometer range of around 365nm to 395nm. The wavelength is very important on how the product cures. If a light that emits the full UV spectrum the cure time could be instantaneous. These lights are very expensive though. Cheaper lights will not emit the full UV spectrum but still work great.
UV CURING LIGHTS
UV curing lights are very important for the curing stage of the UV product. The wrong Wavelength can alter how the product is cured. UV lights can be picked up for as little as £30 but you need to make sure that they emit the correct wavelength to cure the product you are using. Also, if you have some spare time and some soldering skills you can also make your own UV curing light using the correct LED UV lights.
I have taken a look at some of the new UV curing solutions below to give you all an idea of what is on the market and what might be best for you. One light you may have heard of is Tesla Cure. I have lot of respect for this company as they are pretty much the main reason why we have UV paints today. They have driven the UV tech and shown how efficient and beneficial this is for bodyshops. Unfortunately the price point of these units are too high for most body shops.
One of the high-end machines are www.jelight.com these machines will emit the full UV spectrum and can cure the UV product pretty much instantaneously. Of course, these do come at a price however, as with all this type of technology, if you look at the cost and return on investment it could pay for its self quite quickly .
There are other UV curing lights on the market such as the new www.scangrip.com which are at a great price point at around £150 GBP it now allows people who couldn't usually afford this type of technology to now try it out.
You might recognise The torch that i have in my UV chip Clear kit and that is because it is a typical high voltage long range torch that i then strip down and remove the LED and solder in a UV emitting diode, of course I've tried many different types of UV emitting diodes with different wavelengths to find the best one suitable for curing the chip clear.
Keep an eye out for a future video on how to build your own UV torch!
UV CURING PRODUCTS
There are very few brands out there that produce UV cure paints. Glasurit, Akzo-nobel and PPG all have UV cure paints. Let's take a look at some of these and see what the differences are and how they are applied.
The first UV product is the 151-170 Primer from Glasurit. This is probably the most popular UV primer on the market showing great quality and efficiency. Take a look at the TDS sheet below.
The Sikkens Autosurfacer UV primer would be the next popular primer on the market. This has slightly longer curing times and it would be recommended to have a stand for the UV light being used as holding a UV curing lamp for 5 minutes wouldn't be efficient. This primer is also available in aerosol form.
The Finixa UV primer is probably the most affordable and readily accessible UV primers available. With a curing time from 2 minutes to 5 minutes depending on the type of UV lamp being used.
SoCur Chip Fix is one of the first UV cured Filler Stopper putties on the market. A solution we've all been waiting for, a stopper that doesn't sink when applied. Cured in only 15 seconds depending on the light being used this is certainly quicker than the typical cellulose style stopper. Keep an eye out for more unique UV products coming from SoCur in the future!
Of course, to finish off there is the Repair and Refinish Chip Clear kit which is designed to repair stone chips and scratches. Simply touch in the chip or scratch with the colour and apply the clear. cured in only 15 seconds and ready to sand and polish straight away! perfect for SMART repairs and Detailers.
UV SPRAY GUNS
Applying UV primer requires a few modifications to spray guns. Black paint cups and specific spray gun setups. Applying UV with spray guns require small setups because applying a heavy coat of primer will not allow the UV light to get to the bottom of the primer which will cause problems. applying light coats is best for UV light cure primer. this is why a 1.0mm to 1.2mm setup is required.
The WALCOM SLIM KOMBAT 1.0mm setup is a great gun for the application of UV primer. This gun features a black UV cup to protect the primer from curing. There is also a 1.3 setup for UV clearcoat.