SolarShell is a uv-curing laminate – getting best response and curing time from the 340 – 400 Nanometer range. In the past we have developed many curing systems using Fluorescent UV bulbs and ballast, but found that these parts are typically difficult to come by. Considering that a back-up curing system should always be on-hand during installs, we decided to go back to the drawing board and research other lighting options.
We soon came across Metal Halide lighting. MH is a fixture often found in warehouses that burns very hot and comes in a range of wattages from 50 to 600 watts depending on the application. MH lighting is most commonly used in the salt water aquatic industry as a high intensity light source for coral.
Metal Halide mixtures make it possible to produce a range of color temperatures from 7,000 to 20,000 Kelvin. After testing several bulbs, we found that the 20,000K, intense blue bulb puts out wavelengths in the 400 Nanometer range, and is exactly what we needed to cure SolarShell.
The Metal Halide lighting actually cures SolarShell faster than our typical UV system and is more readily available on the market. Typical cure time under 20,000K Metal Halide is 3 minutes.