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Here are tips and considerations regarding freezing epoxy:

  • After fabricating the connectors or cable assemblies, the remaining material in the syringe must be frozen right away. A certain amount of pot life will have been used, and freezing does not further impact pot life. For example, if your epoxy’s pot life is 24 hours and you mixed and worked with it for 4 hours, then the unused material has a pot life of 20 hours.
  • Here’s an idea to extend the epoxy’s pot life and save money: Let’s say your process typically requires 2 grams of material. Purchase a 4-gram bi-pack, which offers a lower price per gram. Instruct your operator to place 2 grams of epoxy into the syringe. Then fill another syringe with the remaining epoxy from the 4-gram package and immediately freeze it. The frozen epoxy will have its full pot life.
  • Freeze epoxy at -40 degrees C to stop the curing process.
  • To freeze unused epoxy, place the tip on the syringe and put the plunger back. I recommend labeling the syringe with (1) remaining pot life and (2) expiration date.
  • Consider implementing process controls, so operators have a clear understanding of all steps and labeling requirements.
  • The recommended length of time to keep epoxy frozen is typically 6 months or less. When freezing epoxy, expect about 50% of the room-temperature shelf life. For example, if the material’s datasheet states a room-temperature shelf life of 12 months, when you freeze the epoxy plan to use it within 6 months.
  • Thawing epoxy is fast and easy.
  • Implementing this process adjustment – freezing unused epoxy – does require an initial investment of time and money. You’ll want to adjust your process, train your operators, buy additional syringes, and purchase a freezer if you don’t have access to one. (Fiber Optic Center can help you locate one.) While an up-front investment is required, you can realize cost savings over the long run – and you may discover a better process that results in better-quality products.

 

READ THE FULL BLOG ARTICLE HERE: Ideas to adjust your epoxy process: Recommendations to reduce waste (and save money) in your fiber optic cable assembly process

 

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Kathleen Skelton

About Kathleen Skelton

Kathleen Skelton, as FOC's Director of Strategic Marketing, utilizes her expertise in business development, online strategy, market planning, digital best practices, standard operating procedure development, and content management. A graduate of Curry College, she holds degrees in Communications and Education, English and Psychology. Kathleen resides outside of Boston, MA with her husband and four children. Follow @KATHLEENSKELTON