- Infrared Light Cure System - How To operate Guide & Safety Instructions
Infrared Light Cure System
IMPORTANT SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS
Attaching the Light To The Stand
Assemble the Light Stand according to the instructions provided with the stand. Remove packing foam from behind elements and tape securing wire guard to housing. Caution: Heating elements are fragile – handle with care!
Attach Arm Assembly to the light utilizing the supplied hardware. Slide the Arm Assembly over upright on stand and tighten lock handle securely at desired height. The angle of the light can be easily adjusted by loosening the knob located on the back of the light housing. Once the light is positioned at the desired angle or orientation, tighten the knob securely.
One of the best methods for applying powder and for using the light for curing is by fastening a strong wire “clothesline” in your ventilated shop or garage (photo 3). This can be done with heavy wire such as our #.041 Safety Wire (#43045). Simply run the wire between garage door tracks or fasten securely with eye bolts into wall studs. Large heavy items should be supported on bricks or stone blocks covered with aluminum foil to prevent static attraction of dust onto your piece. Added stability will then be provided by securing the item to your wire “clothesline”. (photo #4).
The optional Mobile Body Bumper Bench for Powder Coating (#43329) can be used to support small parts during powder coating application and curing as shown in photo 5. Follow the instructions included with your stand for set-up and assembly. The items can be suspended with wire either vertically or horizontally. Wrap your stand with aluminum foil to eliminate powder overspray build up from curing on your stand.
Using The Infrared Thermometer
The infrared thermometer is used to get accurate temperature readings from your object. With these readings, refer to the appropriate chart on page 8 to select cure time (for more details on using these charts refer to “Curing With Your Infrared Light” section). Temperature readings are taken as close to the light-heated area as possible (no more than 3-6" from object). Use common sense when taking temperature readings. Always use heavy leather gloves or welding gloves to protect hands from the heat and never place hands in front of the light when taking readings (to prevent heat burns).
Operating The Infrared Light
The infrared light is designed to be utilized at a distance of 3-6" from the object and parallel to the piece to be cured. The light should be periodically positioned and moved around the object as instructed in the curing section. Use an appropriate outlet. Plug the light into a 15 amp, 110 volt circuit, turn on switch, and allow 3-5 minutes for the light to come up to temperature. If you find an area or object demands the light to be FURTHER than 6" adjust the time to meet the temperature in the chart outlined in the curing section (page 8).
Moving The Light
Objects such as a rear axle (photo 4), driveshaft (photo 9) or any other object that is powdercoated on all sides, must be cured from all sides. In order to cure all surfaces of the object, the light must be moved. This is accomplished by moving the light from the bottom of the object to the top (if hung vertically) or from one end to the other (if hung horizontally), allowing the light to bring the surface up to one of the cure temperatures and then held on that spot for the recommended time. Continually monitor the temperature and adjust your timer as you move the light along. After completing one side, move down the other to completely cure the object.
Some thin gauge objects may cure the powder outside the light’s focus area. This can be checked and verified with the infrared thermometer. If this is the case, simply move the light through this area into the next uncured area, once you have achieved the proper cure time.
Getting Familiar With The System
Read the instructions on pages 8-10 and complete the Practice Steps below to perfect your technique, before proceeding with your project.
Maintaining Constant Temperatures on thin gauge and small parts:
Thin gauge metal and small pieces are easily cured with your light but must be constantly monitored for temperature and light distance in order to prevent the powder from burning or discoloring.
Strip an old valve cover, timing cover or bend a 12" x 12" piece of thin gauge metal into a “U” shape. Hang this from your wire clothesline and position the light on one end of the piece as described on pages 4-5. Monitor the temperature until you reach 380° F. Adjust the light distance to hold 380° F. Now set your timer and continually monitor the temperature to maintain 380° F (plus or minus 10°) for 15 minutes.
After you have successfully held the 380° F. for 15 minutes move the light to the next section (the width of the light casing) and adjust the light distance if needed, to hold 380° F. for an additional 15 minutes. Continue this technique of maintaining the temperature, setting your timer and moving to the next area until the entire piece has been cured.
Maintaining Constant Temperatures on large castings, transmission housings, rear housings, etc:
Large stampings such as alternator brackets, radiator supports along with heavy castings, such as rear housings will hold constant temperatures easier than sheet metal. These are the items the light was designed for. You will be able to quickly determine the correct light distance, temperature and cure time for the color of your choice.
Strip an old brake drum, wheel or piece of shop equipment such as a bench vise. Support the piece as described on page 4. Start with the light at 6-8" and monitor temperature after 5 minutes. These heavy pieces will require a longer time to come up to temperature, due to the piece absorbing the heat. A brake drum will require about 8 minutes to reach 370° F. After you reach a temperature in the middle range of the cure chart, for your color choice, you will find the light may not need to be moved further from the piece but only into the next area.
Selecting Temperature & Cure Time
The key to successful curing is close monitoring of the temperature. The included infrared thermometer will give you this precision temperature reading while the adjustable stand will give you the freedom to move the light around the object for total curing. Follow the charts below for accurate curing of the HotCoatTM powders. If you powder coat with Translucent and Specialty powders you must maintain a minimum of 365° F. for 25 minutes as per the chart below. For Solid and Clear colors a minimum of 320° F. for 15 minutes must be held. Curing at higher temperatures on the charts is acceptable as long as the temperature is held for the specified time.
TGIC Cure Chart For Translucent & Specialty Colors
TGIC Cure Chart For Solid & Clear Colors
Curing With The Infrared Light
1. The objective is to maintain a constant temperature for a sufficient length of time in order to properly cure the powder you are using. Refer to the appropriate cure chart on page 8 to determine the range of cure temperatures recommended for the powder you are using (365° – 400° F. for translucent and specialty colors and 320° – 400° F. for standard solid colors and clears). The difference in cure time is due to the chemical make up of the powders, o be sure to use the correct chart for the powder you’re using. For example, the Translucent and Specialty colors require a cure time of 17 minutes at 380° F, while the Solid and Clears only require 5 minutes at 380° F.
2. Before powder is applied, position the light 4" from the piece and note the temperature on the part after 3-5 minutes. If the temperature is over 400° F. at this point, move the light further from the part by an inch or two.
3. Take another reading after an additional 3 minutes. Repeat your temperature readings every three minutes and adjust the light distance if necessary from the part until you have achieved a consistent temperature reading within the appropriate temperature range for your powder. Make a note of the distance and temperature and determine the cure time required from the appropriate table. This information will be your starting point when you actually begin to cure the powder.
4. Remove the light, allow the piece to cool and then apply the powder according to the directions supplied with the HotCoat gun.
5. Position the light at one end of the piece at the distance you have previously determined.
6. Once the heated area is up to temperature, set your timer according to the chart. Check the temperature every three minutes or so to make sure the temperature is stable and adjust the light distance or adjust the cure time where appropriate.
7. When it’s time to move the light, simply move it the width of the lamp case into the immediate adjacent area. Repeat the temperature monitoring and adjust light distance and/or cure time where necessary.
8. After you have completed your test piece check the cure by the MEK wipe test as described on the following page.
Testing For A Complete Cure
This test is done by taking a clean, soft rag with a little MEK (methyl ethyl ketone) on it and lightly rubbing an inconspicuous spot 2 or 3 times. If you notice the color easily transfers to the rag, you have an incomplete cure. Proceed to the troubleshooting chart below for proper curing.
With proper care, the elements are designed to provide long-term, dependable service for approximately 5000 hours of service. By following these simple instructions you can help insure that you receive the maximum possible life from your infrared curing system.Removal
NOTE: The element mounts may be slightly spring loaded. Once clear of the contacts, tip one end of the element up to clear the top edge of the unit then remove the element from the housing.
IMPORTANT: Use caution not to break the quartz glass, which could create a sharp edge that could cut you.
NOTE: The mount may be slightly spring loaded. If so, GENTLY spread mounts with fingers to allow mounting studs to lower fully into the proper mounting position. DO NOT FORCE THE ELEMENT INTO POSITION as this may break the quartz glass, ceramic end caps, studs or mounting bracket ceramic insulators.
Additional Element Maintenance and Performance Information
If you have any problems or questions, please call customer service for complete technical assistance for additional information.
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