- Advanced Powder Coating - Infrared Light Cure System Instructions
Infrared Light Cure System: Instructions & Manual
Read and understand ALL safety and operating instructions before use. Click here
Follow all powder coating preparations and procedures outlined in the HotCoat® manual
Your Infrared Light will allow you the freedom to powdercoat and cure large or small items. It is intended to cure powder coated parts too large to fit in your oven, or for smaller parts in place of an oven.
The Infrared light waves will cure the powder from the outside, without heating the entire piece totally through. If there is conventional paint, gaskets or plastic items close to the surface to be cured or attached to thin gauge metal, disassembly will be necessary. The Infrared light will generate high temperature heat and should not be directed at flammable material or people, or operated in areas with flammable vapors closer than 25 feet.
To achieve professional results, it is very important to follow all the guidelines for part hanging, light distance and temperature monitoring. The medium wavelength (2.35 micron) light brings the focused surface up to temperature quicker than an enclosed oven. Because of this, accurate temperature control, light positioning and movement are crucial to properly cure the powder without burning the coating. Small items such as valve covers and small brackets will cure in about 6-15 minutes while large parts such as rear housing, driveshafts or motorcycle frames will cure in about 2-6 hours (total elapsed time). To cure large parts, this lamp unit must be repositioned periodically until the entire surface of the part has been cured.
Follow all safety instruction supplied with our HotCoat® system and the powder to be used. Avoid breathing powder dust or the inhalation of vapors generated during the cure process:
- NEVER block front of light unit.
- DO NOT operate within 25 feet of flammable materials or vapors. Infrared light can heat objects up to 25 feet away and may create a dangerous condition.
- DANGER: To reduce risk of explosion
- DO NOT use within 10 feet while applying powder.
- DO NOT look directly at the elements.
- DO NOT touch the elements when they're on. Only clean elements with clean rags and alcohol when they are cool and the light is unplugged.
- Handle light carefully so as not to break elements
- DO NOT allow light to focus on combustible materials or people.
- DO NOT operate light while it is sitting on the floor, table or other surface. Only operate on suitable stand.
- NEVER operate the light when the stand is on an uneven surface were it could fall or roll.
- NEVER leave light unattended while in use.
- NEVER allow the light to be near the spraying of powder as this will cure to the elements and affect the curing performance.
- Treat your Infrared light in the same manner as any electrical appliance or high quality power tool.
Attach Arm Assembly to the light utilizing the supplied hardware. Slide the Arm Assembly upright on stand and tighten lock handle securely at desired height. The angle of the light can be easily adjusted by loosening the knob located on the back of the light housing. Once the light is positioned at the desired angle or orientation, tighten the knob securely.
Click to see Photo #1 Click to see Photo #2
TECH TIP: An old automotive wheel or sandbags can be positioned on the stand for added stability and safety.
NOTE: Prep all parts as per the HotCoat® Powder Coating Instructions (#10198Q) One of the best methods for applying powder and for using the light for curing is by fastening a strong wire "clothesline" in your ventilated shop or garage (see photo #3). This can be done with heavy wire such as our #.041 Safety Wire (#43045). Simply run the wire between garage door tracks or fasten securely with eye bolts in wall studs. Large heavy items should be supported on bricks or stone blocks covered with aluminum foil to prevent static attraction of dust onto your piece. Added stability will then be provided by securing the item to your wire "clothesline."(see photo #4).
The optional Parts Support Stand (#43162) can be used to support small parts during powder coating application and curing as shown here (see photo #5). Follow the instructions included with your stand for set-up and assembly. The items can be suspended with wire either vertically or horizontally. Wrap your stand with aluminum foil to eliminate powder overspray build-up from curing on your stand.
The Infrared thermometer is used to get accurate temperature readings from your object. With these readings, refer to the appropriate chart to select cure time (for more details on using these charts, refer to the "Curing With Your Infrared Light" section). Temperature readings are taken as close to the light-heated area as possible (no more than 3-6" from object). Use common sense when taking temperature readings. Always use heavy leather gloves or welding gloves to protect hands from the heat and never place hands in front of the light when taking readings. This Infrared lamp will not cause any health problems but can give you heat burns. Click to see Photo #6
The Infrared light is designed to be utilized at a distance of 3-6" from the object and parallel to the piece to be cured. The light should be periodically positioned and moved around the object as instructed in the curing section. Plug the light into a grounded 15-amp circuit and allow 3-5 minutes for the light to come up to temperature. If you find an area or object demands the light to be FURTHER than 6" adjust the time to meet the temperature in the chart (See chart) outlined in the curing section.
Some thin gauge objects may cure the powder outside the light's focus area. This can be checked and verified with the Infrared thermometer. If this is the case, simply move the light through this area into the next, once you have achieved the proper cure time.
The key to successful curing is close monitoring of the temperature. The included Infrared thermometer will give you this precision temperature reading while the adjustable stand will give you the freedom to move the light around the object for total curing. Follow the charts below for accurate curing of the HotCoatTMpowders.
If you Powder coat with Translucent and Specialty powders you must maintain a minimum of 365°F. for 25 minutes (See graph). For Solid and Clear colors a minimum of 320°F. for 15 minutes must be held.(See graph) Curing at higher temperatures on the charts is acceptable as long as the temperature is held for the specified time.
NOTE: Practice maintaining cure temperatures before curing powder as detailed below.
1. The objective is to maintain a constant temperature for a sufficient length of time in order to properly cure the powder you are using. Refer to the appropriate cure chart above to determine the range of cure temperatures recommended for the powder you are using (365° - 400°F. for translucent and specialty colors and 320° - 400°F. for standard solid colors and clears). The difference in cure time is due to the chemical make up of the powders, so be sure to use the correct chart for the powder you're using. For example, the Translucent and Specialty colors require a cure time of 17 minutes at 380°F, while the Solid and Clears only require 5 minutes at 380°F. An inexpensive cooking timer is recommended to monitor curing times.
2. Before powder is applied, position the light 4" from the piece and note the temperature on the part after 3-5 minutes. If the temperature is over 400°F. at this point, move the light further from the part by an inch or two.
NOTE: Do not operate the light closer than 3". This will cause the temperature to rise very quickly and burn the powder. For thin gauge metal or small parts such as a master cylinder lid, valve cover or small brackets, cure temperature will be attained very quickly. Therefore, the temperature must be constantly monitored and the light distance corrected to maintain the temperature below 400°F. For large parts such as rear housings, transmission case or driveshafts, the piece will heat up slowly and maintain a fairly constant temperature due to the heat absorption. You will still have to monitor the temperature regularly but may not have to vary the light distance.
3. Take another reading after an additional 3 minutes. Repeat your temperature readings every three minutes and adjust the light distance if necessary from the part until you have achieved a consistent temperature reading within the appropriate temperature range for your powder. Make a note of the distance and temperature and determine the cure time required from the appropriate table. This information will be your starting point when you actually begin to cure the powder.
4. Remove the light, allow the piece to cool and then apply the powder according to the directions supplied with the HotCoat® gun.
5. Position the light at one end of the piece at the distance you have previously determined.
6. Once the heated area is up to temperature, set your timer according to the chart. Check the temperature every three minutes or so to make sure the temperature is stable and adjust the light distance or adjust the cure time where appropriate.
7. When it's time to move the light, simply move it the width of the lamp case into the immediate adjacent area. Repeat the temperature monitoring and adjust light distance and/or cure time where necessary.
NOTE: Always cure parts starting from the bottom up and if curing powder on the other side, begin at the top and work your way back down to the bottom. For parts oriented from side to side, start from one end and if curing the backside, work your way back on the other side to the starting point. When curing tubular objects such as motorcycle frames, driveshafts, etc., even though all sides of the tube may melt and flow out at the same time, you should still cure both sides for the required amount of time. Start the light at the bottom of the piece and follow the correct cure chart while working up one side. Then move the light to the other side and work your way down to the starting point.
This test is done by taking a clean, soft rag with a little MEK on it and lightly rubbing an inconspicuous spot 2 or 3 times. If you notice the color easily transfers to the rag, you have an incomplete cure. Proceed to the troubleshooting section below for proper curing. See photo #1
PROBLEM // Possible Cause: Correction Action
FAILED MEK TEST // Incomplete Cure: Use the correct chart for the powder you are using. Try recuring the piece using the correct chart, temperature and distance. If, after the second cure the piece still fails the MEK test, you must strip the coating using automotive paintstripper or abrasive blasting with plastic media.
Burnt Area · Light too close to piece: Keep light a minimum of 3" from piece, or further to maintain temperatures no higher than 400°F. Temperature not closely monitored: Continuously monitor temperature as described in the "Curing With Your Infrared Light" section above. You may have to increase the distance from the light to the piece to keep temperature from going over 400°F.
1. Unplug unit and remove from stand at the cross arm leaving the cross arm attached to the stand.
2. Place your Infrared light unit on a solid object such as a workbench or table.
3. The light should be positioned on its back with the elements up and supported with blocks so the unit will not shift while you are working on it.
4. Use a medium width, flat blade screwdriver and remove the four screws that hold the two end covers and grill in place. (See photo A)
5. Remove both end covers and grill to expose the elements.
6. Using an 11/32" end wrench gently loosen the outside mounting/locking nuts at both ends of the element. (See photo B)
7. With your fingers, grasp the element at the ceramic ends and gently pull upwards.(See photo C)
NOTE: The element mounts may be slightly spring loaded. Once clear of the mounting brackets, flip one end of the element up to clear the top edge of the unit then remove the element from the housing.
IMPORTANT: Use caution not to break the quartz glass, which could create a sharp edge that could cut you.
8. Dispose of used element by wrapping it in the shipping material that your new replacement element was shipped in. Then dispose with common trash.
Installation of New Element
1. Carefully unpack your replacement element. Inspect for damage. Save packaging material for use in disposal of your old element.
2. Using your 11/32" end wrench, GENTLY loosen the exterior or outside retaining nuts on the threaded studs on both ends of the element. DO NOT ALLOW THE MOUNTING STUD TO TURN.
3. Using your 11/32" end wrench carefully and GENTLY snug the inside lock nut next to the ceramic end pieces. DO NOT ALLOW THE MOUNTING STUD TO TURN.(See photo E)
4. Holding the element by the ceramic ends, tip in one side of the element into the unit's housing adjusting to the side as to allow clearance for the other side to enter the housing.(See photo D)
5. Once inside the housing, mount the element on the element holder and gently tighten the outside retaining nuts.
NOTE: The mount may be slightly spring loaded. If so, GENTLY spread mounts with fingers to allow mounting studs to lower fully in to the proper mounting position. DO NOT FORCE THE ELEMENT INTO POSITION as this may break the quartz glass, ceramic end caps, studs or mounting bracket ceramic insulators.
6. Once the element is in the proper position, use your 11/32" end wrench to GENTLY snug up the mounting lock nuts.
7. Remount the grill and end caps to the unit's housing. Remember the end caps are held on by sheet metal screws. DO NOT over tighten.
8. Remount unit to the cross arm and stand.
Additional Element Maintenance and Performance Information
- Elements should be cleaned with alcohol to remove human or other oils.
- If the element gets powder or paint overspray on it, the element may be cleaned by using a fine non-woven abrasive pad (example: Scotchbrite pads or fine steel wool).
- Element mounting points should be checked for tightness annually.
- Do Not operate this unit at voltage higher than specified.
If you have any problems or questions, please call customer service for complete technical service or additional information.