UV curing dramatically reduces the curing time of composite parts from hours to minutes. In addition, UV curing provides a more consistent and controlled process compared to existing catalyst processes which can vary depending on the humidity and temperature. UV curing is especially advantageous for open molding, filament winding, pultruding, and 3D printing of mass produced products or low volume high value parts where quality, consistency, and high production rates are important.
UV curing for composite materials
Fiberglass and carbon fiber composite parts can be cured using ultraviolet (UV) light.
- Increased production rates
- Improved product consistency and quality
- Reduced floor space
- Reduced scrap
- Reduced styrene emissions
- Improved working environment for employees
Your Applications with UV curing
Composite processes using thermoset resins with fiberglass reinforcements and little pigmentation are ideal for UV curing. However, processes for curing pigmented gel coats, resins with fillers, and epoxy resins are also possible. Thermoplastic resins do not undergo cross-linking polymerization and thus cannot be UV-cured.
- RV and truck panels, and other open molded parts
- Windmill blades
- SCBA and other filament wound tanks
- Pipes, masts, poles and other cylindrical filament wound parts
- Pultruded fiber optic strength member rods
Manufacturers of these and other products should evaluate UV curing as a way to increase production and lower styrene emissions.