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Cova Scientific By Cova Scientific • September 17, 2015

Assembly Benefits Of UV Gel Epoxies

Low viscosity adhesives are great. They're easy to mix, easy to apply, and even wet out across substrates better than higher viscosity alternatives. BUT the moment immediately after low viscosity materials have been applied to their intended substrate, they suddenly become a liability. By definition, it takes very little energy to move or disturb a low viscosity material. So once the adhesive has been applied its very easy for the liquid to become mobile, i.e. spilling and generally spreading to unintended places. One way to avoid this sort of problem is to use a UV gel epoxy adhesive.

Epoxies can be cured in a number of different ways. Some epoxy curing mechanisms include:

  • One Component Heat Cure: One component systems are convenient because they don't require any sort of mixing prior to application, however, they generally require long periods at high temperatures (60-100C) before fully curing.
  • Two Component Room Temperature Cure: Two component room temperature cure systems involve a resin and hardener components. When the two components are properly mixed together they will react at room temperature and ultimately produce a polymer. Cure times vary from 1 minute to 48 hours or more. Cure speeds can be increased with heat.
  • Two Component Heat Cure: Some two component systems are simply so slow that they require heat in order to be useful.
  • UV Cure: Epoxies can be formulated to cure with exposure to UV light. These cationic epoxies can be cured extremely quickly (potentially within a few seconds) on command. Fully cationic epoxies have some drawbacks, however, including reduced adhesion to certain substrates.
  • UV Gel: As a final method, epoxies can be designed to partially cure with UV exposure and finish polymerization at room temperature or with heat. This method draws benefits from all the methods above.

Of the cure methods above UV gel stands out when working with low viscosity performance materials. This cure mechanism maintains the adhesion and physical properties of the one and two component systems while providing a method to control/ handle liquids after they have been applied.

Get Started Identifying UV Curing Epoxies That Meet Your Application Specifications