When working with epoxies and adhesives, there are several consistent areas that beg for clarity. FOC knows because we generally field those questions and concerns. Among the top of that list are:
- Room temperature storage best practices
- Storage methods and instructions
Within this short article blog we intend to touch on each of these and give quick links to where you can find more detailed technical information and best practices for each.
Room temperature storage best practices
Room temperature storage, when talking about epoxies and adhesives, is defined differently by manufacturers. For example, one manufacturer recommends 73-77F as an ideal room temperature storage. Another recommends a wide range from cooler room temperature to warmer room temperature at 15-30C (59-86F).
Fiber Optic Center recommends 65-80F as ideal. In short, storing anywhere between 59 and 86F is suitable.
Storage methods and instructions
Proper epoxy storage methods and deciphering data sheet handling/storage instructions are areas that FOC receives consistent requests for support in. The data sheet for each product is the starting place for key information.
The basic information that should be included on any data sheet includes:
- Typical Physical Properties
- Application Directions
- Handling Characteristics – these include but are not limited to:
- Working Life
- Minimum Cure Schedule
Here is an example for FOC’s ÅngströmBond® 9112: http://focenter.com/wp-content/uploads/documents/ÅngströmBond—Fiber-Optic-Center-ÅngströmBond-AB9112-Room-Temp-Cure-Epoxy-(25G)-Fiber-Optic-Center.pdf
All epoxies should be stored according to the storage recommendations on their data sheet so begin there.
Freezing unused epoxy for future use has several tips and considerations that we have covered in detail. Some highlights include:
- After fabricating the connectors or cable assemblies, the remaining material in the syringe must be frozen right away.
- Freeze epoxy at -40 degrees C to stop the curing process.
- Follow the FOC best practice to extend the epoxy’s pot life and save money.
More detailed information found here: https://focenter.com/ideas-to-adjust-your-epoxy-process-recommendations-to-reduce-waste-and-save-money-in-your-fiber-optic-cable-assembly-process/
If epoxy is left in a cold environment it can become more susceptible to crystallization where you would then need to heat the material to melt the crystals before use. First steps in dealing with crystallization can be found in this article blog: Crystallization in Epoxies: Steps for You to Spot it – and Fix It.
Crystallization, a natural phenomenon where the epoxy can look cloudy or milky or form crystals, can happen in any epoxy, and for no reason even if stored correctly. Additional information regarding identifying and reversing this phenomenon can be found in this article blog: Crystallization in Epoxies: How to Identify and Reverse It
It is worth mentioning that we have seen that storing on the colder side or cooler side of the room temperature storage range may contribute to this phenomenon. We have authored a technical paper if you wish to look into this topic further: https://focenter.com/crystallization-in-epoxies/
FOC EPOXY RESOURCES:
- Adding color, pigment to UV curable coatings
- Does epoxy cause core cracking? Tips to identify and prevent this phenomenon
- The Glass Transition in Epoxies
- Epoxy Bi-Pack News – and Usage Tips for Best Results
- Helpful Epoxy Tips (and a Few Tricks)
- Bonding Optical Fiber to the Ceramic Ferrule SERIES:
- Bond Line Thickness & More: Answers to Common Epoxy Questions
- Ideas to Adjust Your Epoxy Process: Recommendations to Reduce Waste (and Save Money) in Your Fiber Optic Cable Assembly Process
- Polymer Expert Blog: Defeating Bubbles . . . Part II
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/
ÅngströmBond Solutions Center for additional epoxy expertise through:
- technical content, best practices, weekly tips
- our dedicated adhesives expert to help meet Individual customer needs
- specialty stock materials or high-tech custom epoxies in custom package sizes
- FOC developed ÅngströmBond, the only specialty adhesive line developed exclusively for Fiber Optics
Do you have a specific issue regarding epoxies and adhesives?
We’re here to help! Send us your question, and we’ll do our best to provide guidance. FOC is committed to helping you manufacture the best fiber optic cable assemblies in the world. FOC is a resource for questions on this and all technical subjects. AskFOC can be found at: https://focenter.com/askfoc/ where our technical experts answer your questions.
Follow Kelly @EpoxyExprtsFOC