The preeflow eco-PEN dispenses and doses with accuracy and repeatability whilst optimising material usage. It can dose or dispense any liquid, from free-flowing solvents to heavily filled conductive adhesives, in volumes as small as 0.001ml. Its positive displacement pump technology enables precision volumetric fluid control without stress to the material. The eco-PEN is suited to semi and fully automatic dispensing/dosing operations.
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We have featured on the Facebook page of Nottingham Trent University’s Advanced Textiles Research Group. Here’s our own Matt Baseley with some precision dispensing equipment we have helped them with in their lab, including a dispensing robot and a volumetric dispensing pump.
The focus of the Advanced Textiles Research Group is on electronic textiles with the aim of developing a truly wearable computer. Areas of work include embedded electronics in yarns/fibres; electronically heated gloves for skiers, motorcyclists and for the treatment of Raynaud’s phenomenon; flexible fabric antennas for megahertz frequency communications; knitted structures for ECG measurement; and textile switches for clothing and automotive applications.
It’s exciting, leading edge stuff – we are both fascinated and delighted to be involved.
You can buy two (or more) part adhesives which have been pre-measured into the correct proportions, mixed and degassed, filled into a dispensing syringe or cartridge, and then frozen to stop the cure. The adhesive is shipped from the factory to you in an insulated box also containing ice. Upon delivery, you store the adhesive in a freezer until you need it. In order to use the adhesive, the syringe is taken from the freezer and brought up to room temperature, when it can be applied as normal. This premixed and frozen packaging alleviates potential quality and process issues which can come from metering and mixing in-house, and reduces process steps in manufacturing.
Premixed and frozen adhesives supplied in syringes can give some key benefits to busy manufacturers:
- No need to weigh, measure or meter the two or more constituent parts
- No mixing
- As it is premixed, there is less likelihood of epoxy crystallisation
- There is no material separation or sedimentation in storage
- The adhesive is degassed when filled into the syringe, so there are no bubbles or voids
The premixed and frozen approach is more popular with high value adhesives going into critical applications (i.e. electrically conductive adhesives).
One simple, but nevertheless important, rule must be observed when removing syringes from the freezer: the syringes must only be touched by hand (protected by gloves, of course!) at the flange of the syringe. This is to avoid a local expansion of the syringe wall by uncontrolled heating i.e. by the warmth of your hand – consequently sucking air into the syringe. This may create bubbles inside the syringe and result in voids during dispensing.
A controlled thawing process is simple:
- Wear gloves
- Grip the syringe at the flange
- Take it out of the freezer
- Put it into a rack or close fitting metal cylinder, maintaining vertical alignment with the dispensing end pointing down
- Let it thaw, bringing it up to room temperature (~20-30 minutes)
- It’s now ready to go!
Opti-tec 5013 high performance, two-part epoxy is a water white optically clear general adhesive for bonding glass, ceramics, plastics and metals as well as some optical and opto-electronic applications. It ensures strong, clear structural bonds, including for repair and restoration where aesthetics are a priority. It can also be used for small volume potting and encapsulation.
Opti-tec 5013’s medium viscosity provides good gap filling characteristics, whilst its high surface energy enables wetting and wicking between surfaces – before and during the cure cycle. At room temperature, handling strength is achieved in 30 minutes, with full cure time taking just two hours. This can be accelerated to ten minutes at 65°C.
Opti-tec 5013 is supplied in convenient side-by-side double cartridges.
Opti-tec 5020 two-part epoxy clear potting compound combines high clarity with resistance to a wide range of temperatures (-55°C to +115°C) and environmental conditions. It also offers excellent hardness and chemical resistance compared with typical polyurethane and silicone formulations. Opti-tec 5020 is suitable for delicate components thanks to low exothermic output during cure, which also enables larger quantities to be mixed. Opti-tec 5020 finds uses in applications such as optical filters, LEDs and optoelectronic assemblies.
Application is aided by low viscosity, which assists in achieving a void-free cure, together with its extended working life which permits a manageable cure process based around a workable one-hour pot life with room temperature cure within 24 hours.
Opti-tec 5020 is also available as Opti-tec 5020-B – a black, non-transparent version which provides the same usage and performance characteristics.
Recent developments in 3D printing (also known as additive manufacturing or rapid prototyping) have popularised the SLA (stereolithography) methodology of laser printing in a bath of UV light curable photopolymer resin. This process effectively “grows” a component in the bath so that as it is withdrawn, each successive layer is light cured. It is a process which can be many times faster than other 3D printing technologies, but does frequently need an additional UV post-cure to ensure the component attains full strength and that any excess polymer that does not drain away in the build or growth process is completed cured.
Dymax UV flood lamp and spot curing systems are ideal, both for this post-curing application, and also for subsequent re-working and repair.
Dymax UV light-curing flood lamp systems are designed for area curing or for curing multiple assemblies at once. These flood lamp models use a powerful UV light curing lamp (up to 225 mW/cm2) for fast curing over a 13 cm x 13 cm area. For rework or repair, such as curing drain-hole fills, assembling larger assemblies, or repairing cracked or broken models, the BlueWave® 200 3.0 spot-lamp system is an ideal solution. This unit is a high-intensity lamp that emits energy in the UVA and visible portion of the spectrum (300-450 nm) and is well suited for either manual or automated processes.
Dymax UV flood and spot lamps may be used as bench-top curing systems or integrated into automated production lines where they provide the industry’s most consistent light intensity over their 2000 hour bulb warranty.