Our curing systems are used by composites (FRP) fabricators doing open molding, filament winding, pultrusion and preforming operations. UV curing systems and equipment for each of these applications is described below.
Several factors influence the UV curing equipment choice for open molded parts – most notably the part size and shape, and how the part is moved along the line.
In general, most open-molded parts are quite large and three-dimensional, so UV curing is done in the far field, not in focus. We typically recommend using our 209 end reflectors, optional end reflectors which provide higher irradiance over a larger area in the far field.
Most systems are also set up so the part moves in one direction beneath the UV lamps, which may also be moving. This ensures exposure of all the entire part surface area with the least number of lamps. Most commonly, our F300S system is used with a long wavelength bulb such as the V bulb for adequate through-cure of the laminate. Gel coat curing may require different bulb types depending on the specific formulation. It is also possible to mount our F300S lamp onto a robot, which can scan the part surface area in the same way that automated spray is done. Our engineered custom products group can design and build the light shielding for these systems, but the material handling is typically done by a line integrator or in-house.
Most filament winding applications require only one to three F300S or F600S systems, depending on the part diameter and length as well as the curing speeds desired. Though it depends on the specific resins used, most often a V bulb is used for adequate through cure. For clear gel coats, an H bulb is usually used. These UV curing systems can be retrofitted onto existing winders. If a new filament winding machine is being specified, then we work with the machine builder who will incorporate the lamps onto the machine.