UV primers have been used for years in northern European markets and are gradually making a name for themselves in other markets. These products have very specific characteristics that allow them to offer very interesting advantages for those bodyshops with a large volume of work. However, as with any other type of paint, it is essential to know how to apply the product correctly in order to get the most out of it. To help you with this, today we will show you some tips for applying UV spray primers.
What are the advantages of UV primers?
The main advantage of UV primers is their extremely short curing time, in some cases only a few seconds are sufficient to achieve this, and in no case is it usually more than 5-10 minutes. This reduces repair time, vehicle downtime in the workshop and bottlenecks. In addition, UV primers have other very interesting advantages:
- Easily applied without the need for complex technical knowledge.
- A very interesting option for minor and moderate damage (spot repair).
- Can be applied on metallic and plastic substrates; in the case of plastics an adhesion promoter is recommended.
- Dry by photopolymerization, so that it is no longer necessary to use drying initiation products such as catalyst converters.
- The solids content is very high compared to the amount of solvent they contain in their formulation. As a result, these products are more respectful of the environment and worker’s health.
- Reduce energy consumption, since they do not require inefficient drying equipment such as infrared or cabin drying.
- The layer of paint deposited after drying is very thick, generally exceeding 100 microns.
Tips for applying a UV spray primer
The success of the gear depends equally on these two fundamental aspects:
- Product quality.
- The application process to be
On the one hand, the quality is set by the UV primer manufacturer, so the operator cannot change this variable. However, it is in the process of applying the UV primer that success or failure is obtained, depending on how it is executed. The application of a UV primer with guaranteed success depends on scrupulously following these steps:
- Before applying a UV primer, the manufacturer’s technical documentation should be consulted in order to know all the necessary information about the application process of the product. Following the indications given, the process should be trouble-free.
- The support must be perfectly decontaminated, while the adjacent areas must be taped over to avoid any type of spraying.
- To carry out the application with total guarantee, an opaque glass is mounted on the gun, in order to avoid the UV primer coming into contact with the ambient light and undesired variations in the drying time of the product occurring. The fluid peak of the spray gun should be between 1.2 and 1.4 mm.
- To ensure drying of the UV primer, a UV-A/LED drying lamp is required. During the drying process, it is necessary to protect the eye area by means of suitable protective goggles.
- Before inserting the product into the spray gun, it is important to shake the contents of the can to achieve a perfect homogenization of its compounds.
- The bottom is then fed directly into the spray gun vessel after filtering and without any mixing.
- Start the application with a first coat of product. Do not forget to follow an application technique that ensures uniform paint deposition.
- While the solvents from the first coat evaporate, prepare the drying equipment.
- Apply a second coat with the same gun and follow the same guidelines.
- Proceed to the drying of the primer with the UV-A/LED lamp keeping it static (movement can be shown in those cases in which the surface is very wide) and perfectly perpendicular to the work area. The drying time to be followed is the one indicated by the manufacturer in the technical data sheet of the product.
- You can see all these steps in action by watching this video.
UV primers: easy application and maximum cost-effectiveness
As we have seen so far, applying a UV primer does not require very deep technical knowledge. It is enough to know a couple of particularities and apply processes that are already installed and used habitually in the workshop. However, as this is a less common work process, we cannot forget to be as scrupulous as possible to obtain maximum profitability from the application of UV primers.