Due to its simplicity and quick curing time, UV resin has become my go-to resin when creating smaller, unique crafts. UV resin needs UV light to cure and produce elegant jewelry properly. Sometimes, the UV lamp may be damaged or unavailable. Finding alternative UV light sources can provide that substitute when you have no means to a UV lamp.
Thankfully, UV resin can also be dried without a UV light source. The sun can be an alternative UV light source to cure your resin project. The process can take a long time to cure as the sun’s wavelength is outside the range for a fast curing process for your resin.
This article will cover the various UV resin types, their curing times, and strategies for curing UV resin without UV light.
How Long Does UV Resin Take to Cure?
The thickness of the applied layer and the intensity of the UV light source both affect how quickly UV resin dries. Under a UV lamp with a wavelength of 365 nm, UV resin typically dries in 1 to 3 minutes. Longer curing times will occur if the layers are thicker and the UV light source is weaker.
It’s crucial to remember that the surface must first stop being tacky for the curing process to be finished. It indicates that the resin has not fully cured and may need more time under UV light if the surface is still tacky.
What are the Types of UV Resin?
There are two main types of UV resin: polyester and polyurethane. Polyester resin is a thermosetting resin that cures through a chemical reaction between the resin and a catalyst. Polyurethane resin, on the other hand, cures through a photochemical reaction under UV light.
Renowned for being extremely strong and long-lasting, Polyester resin is commonly utilized in marine applications. Once it has dried, which takes only 10 to 20 minutes, it can be polished and sanded.
Due to its clarity and usability, polyurethane resin is frequently used in jewelry making and other crafts. When exposed to UV light, it dries quickly and can be polished and sanded after curing.
How Long Does Polyester Resin Take to Cure?
Polyester resin typically takes 10-20 minutes to cure under UV light with a wavelength of 365nm. Thicker layers may take longer to cure, and a weaker UV light source will result in longer curing times.
It’s important to note that polyester resin generates heat during curing, which can cause the resin to shrink and warp. Curing polyester resin in thin layers and a cool environment is crucial to avoid this.
How Long Does Polyurethane Resin Take to Cure?
Polyurethane resin typically cures within 1-3 minutes under UV light with a wavelength of 365nm. Thicker layers may take longer to cure, and a weaker UV light source will result in longer curing times.
Polyurethane resin does not generate heat during the curing process, which makes it less prone to shrinkage and warping. However, curing polyurethane resin in a well-ventilated environment is important to prevent curing issues.
How Do You Cure Resin Without UV Light?
There are several ways to cure resin without UV light. One method is to use a heat gun or hairdryer to apply heat to the resin. This will accelerate the curing process and help the resin to cure evenly.
Holding the heat gun or hairdryer a few inches away from the resin, move it back and forth in a sweeping motion. To avoid overheating and warping of the resin, keep the tool moving.
A curing box or cabinet is another option. A curing box is a container with reflective walls that reflect light onto the resin, causing it to cure. A curing cabinet is an expanded version of a curing box that can handle larger projects.
To use a curing box or cabinet, place the resin inside and turn on the light source. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific type of resin you are using.
How Long Does UV Resin Take to Cure in Sunlight?
Exposure to sunlight is another option for curing UV resin. However, it is not as effective as using UV light. The time required for curing UV resin in sunlight can vary depending on the sunlight’s intensity and the resin layer’s thickness. Curing completely can take anywhere from a few hours to a full day.
It is important to note that prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the resin to turn yellow or discolor. Therefore, to protect the resin from direct sunlight, cover it with a clear plastic or glass sheet. Curing UV resin in sunlight can be a viable option if you don’t have access to UV light.
Can you cure UV resin with a UV flashlight?
Yes, it is possible to cure UV resin with a UV flashlight. A UV flashlight emits ultraviolet light, which can cure the resin. UV flashlight, also known as a blacklight flashlight, emits ultraviolet light that is not visible to the naked eye.
These flashlights are commonly used in forensic investigations, pet stain detection, and other applications requiring UV light. UV flashlights are available in various wavelengths, the most common being 365nm and 395nm.
The curing time for UV resin can vary depending on the resin layer’s brand, type, and thickness. However, it should be noted that curing time with a UV flashlight may be longer than with a UV lamp. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific UV resin you use and be patient during the curing process.
In summary, curing UV resin without UV light is possible, but it requires patience and careful attention to the curing process. Different types of resin have varying curing times and require specific conditions for curing. However, it’s essential to remember that these methods may take longer or not produce even results compared to a UV lamp.