From time to time, FOC has been asked to recommend a pigment that can be safely added to UV curable coatings as well as offer advice about what ratio of pigment to coating is acceptable without compromising the integrity of the coating.
As communicated by our customers, the main reason there is a need to alter the color of a coating is that the fiber being coated or re-coated can be the same color as the UV curable coating, making it challenging for operators to visually identify where splices are.
If the coating being the same color as the fiber presents a problem, the solution seems simple… add a color or pigment to the coating to differentiate the coating from the fiber and help the operators easily see where the fiber splice is. Well, not exactly simple, unfortunately, because we are dealing with chemistry.
Adding pigment to an existing UV curable coating product is not advised by manufacturers; they cannot guarantee the performance of the coating after altering its chemistry.
Each coating has its own chemistry and technically adding anything, such as liquid dye, powder dye, food coloring and even UV curable ink, can affect the chemistry of the coating and its performance and even block the light from getting in for proper cure speed.
Without pigment product recommendations from coating manufacturers, with good reason to protect the performance of their coating products, FOC can only recommend that adding pigment to UV coatings is up to the discretion of each customer.
A follow up recommendation is to experiment, test and validate the colored coating in your application with only using the smallest amount of pigment necessary to achieve a color variation to differentiate from the fiber.
Adding less color/pigment is best to minimize the possibility of it detracting from any of the properties of the UV curable coating.
Click to learn more:
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- Crystallization in Epoxies: Steps for You to Spot it – and Fix It.
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Additional resources from the FOC team include:
- FOC technical solution content: http://bit.ly/29WTvgn
- Glossary, Acronyms, Military Specifications for Connectors: http://bit.ly/2a2EFn8
- Q&A Resource: email technical questions to AskFOC@focenter.com
- Bookmark the ÅngströmBond Solutions Center: https://focenter.com/angstrombond/
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- Ideas to adjust your epoxy process: Recommendations to reduce waste (and save money) in your fiber optic cable assembly process - December 16, 2016
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- Epoxy Bi-Pack News – and Usage Tips for Best Results - October 3, 2016