See it Dispense. See it Cure. See the Solution.
Two of the most often asked questions about light-curable adhesives and coatings are:
1. How do I know that I’ve dispensed enough material in the appropriate area?
2. How do I know when the material is fully cured?
Seeing is truly believing.
See-Cure is a patented color-change technology developed by Dymax to assist manufacturers with the ability to see that light-curable materials (LCMs) have been dispensed and cured appropriately.
The technology is an indicator of full cure by intentionally transitioning the color of See-Cure-formulated products to colorless, or in some cases to pink. The color transition is not the effect of bleaching from UV irradiation, but directly linked to the photoinitiator in the material. See-Cure ensures that a visible safety factor is built into the assembly process. This built-in visual cure validation makes it easy for operators or simple automated optical inspection systems to confirm cure without the need for additional specialized equipment. The technology does not affect the RoHS compliance of light-curable materials and provides similar biocompatibility characteristics for Dymax MD® medical device adhesives.
See it Dispense!
Dymax adhesives and maskants formulated with See-Cure technology have a bright blue or purple color in their uncured state. This makes it easy for the user to confirm material placement when dispensed onto the surface of substrates, in deep wells, or between two layers of material. The colors will not permanently stain or affect the biocompatibility of the component surfaces that they contact. As the bright colors are extremely noticeable, simple vision systems may be incorporated into assembly processes prior to curing to easily identify material coverage and profile.
See it Cure!
During the light-curing process, the initial vivid color of the LCM formulated with See-Cure technology turn colorless or pink. This color-change technology provides obvious visual confirmation that the materials have received a sufficient dose of energy to reach full cure and that the bond line is secure.
See the Solution!
To absolutely ensure the relationship of visual clarity and full cure, Dymax intentionally formulates LCMs with See-Cure technology so that the color change occurs 10-20% slower than the actual adhesive cure. As light-curable materials often cure in fractions of a second, the added time required to complete the color transition from blue to colorless or pink is typically negligible. This programmed delay supports good engineering and manufacturing practices which mandate that bonding processes be qualified with a reasonable period of “over-curing” as a safety factor.
To verify that See-Cure technology consistently serves as a reliable indicator of full cure, Dymax performed extensive testing with a wide variety of its light-curable adhesives. To illustrate the concept of See-Cure technology, measurements of product hardness were taken during curing cycles to determine the point of full cure. These were plotted against measurements of adhesive color intensity at the same time intervals. The graph below depicts the typical relationship between the progression of adhesive cure and the diminishing color of See-Cure technology within the adhesive. As verified by the graphed measurements, the final color change from blue to colorless occurs after adhesive curing has taken place.
Experience See-Cure technology for yourself! Contact our Application Engineering Team for more information on available products.