What Baking Cookies Tells Us About Light Curing

Let’s all get on the same wavelength here

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What Baking Cookies Tells Us About Light Curing

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Light curing is a leap forward in pipe lining, improving consistency in the final liner, speeding installation times, lowering technician labor costs, and reducing risk by enhancing control over the lining process.

And while there are some important differences between light curing systems that should be considered, the wavelength or “color” of the light is not one of them. The reality is that there is no inherent benefit to a particular wavelength of light, whether it sits on the visible part of the light spectrum (e.g. blue, green, etc.) or if it’s in the UV part of the spectrum. What’s important is irradiance per square centimeter, sufficient power along the length of the liner, and that the resin and the wavelength be perfectly calibrated with each other for a full and dense cure.

While the UV part of the spectrum is indeed wide, the specific wavelength of light used in a UV CIPP lining system is not. For example, the NuFlow NuCure system uses a very specific wavelength of light within the UV portion of the spectrum, one that is precisely calibrated to the resin developed to ensure an extraordinarily high density of cure.

If you bake cookies at 350 degrees, the fact that your oven heats from 0 to 550 degrees is an irrelevant observation and in no way suggests a lack of precision or power — you are going to use a very narrow and focused part of that total temperature range. You just need to make sure your oven can hit 350 and stay there for the time it takes to bake the cookie, and, most important, that your cookie dough recipe is calibrated to work at that temperature. If another cookie recipe calls for baking at 325 or 375 degrees, it’s not better or worse, it’s just different, and it will work just fine as long as the cookie dough is calibrated to that temperature. There aren’t a lot of cookie recipes that say “Preheat your oven to anywhere between 300 and 375 degrees.”

Light in the UV spectrum has a relatively shorter wavelength, which actually helps in penetration of materials. In addition, the NuCure system has designed or sourced transparent lining materials specifically to enable better light penetration through to the resin, ensuring an extremely dense cure.

In sum, it is the overall system that should be evaluated when considering a light cure system, not one attribute — better to consider the wavelength/resin calibration, the heat created by the reaction (peak exotherm) and exotherm duration, the transparency of lining materials used, the robustness of the power sources, cables and connections, and, of course, the product and job site support that NuFlow is famous for. 

Speaking of cookies, stop by booth 2801 at the WWETT Show Feb. 21-23 for a cookie-fest you don’t want to miss.

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