Accelerated curing systems, such as infrared (IR) curing technology, enable body shops and collision repair centers an opportunity to reduce cycle time and increase overall throughput. IR curing systems are either electric- or gas-powered. The basic differences between gas and electric dryers are how they generate energy and the IR wavelengths they produce, which determine how efficiently the systems cure coatings and impact the overall quality of the repair.
Benefits of Short Wave Electric IR
REVO Accelerated Curing Systems from Global Finishing Solutions (GFS) use short wave infrared curing technology to cure up to three layers of coatings quickly from the inside out. Short wave IR penetrates directly to the underlying substrate and then directs heat outward — delivering a consistent, controlled heat to each layer of the filler or coating.
Although REVO Systems use primarily short wave IR, they also produce some medium waves, which work together to create an even, complete cure with just one pass, without skinning or solvent popping the top layer.
Gas catalytic IR systems produce medium and long waves. Since these longer waves do not penetrate to the substrate, the exterior layer of the coating dries before the interior layers do. This can result in skinning or solvent popping, and it is especially common when curing thicker coatings with gas catalytic systems. For a proper cure with gas catalytic systems, multiple passes of the unit over the area being cured is required for each layer of a coating. In addition to the extra time needed, there are also quality issues that can occur due to the curing method.
Gas catalytic systems must be preheated to a very high temperature to function. This temperature is well above the boiling temperature of the chemicals used in body filler, which can lead to severe pinholing, bubbling or other failures in the body filler. Extreme care and caution must be taken when using gas catalytic systems.
Save Time and Energy
Short wave electric IR brings multiple layers of paint to curing temperature within seconds. With REVO Systems, a panel can be completely cured in less time than it takes to preheat gas catalytic units. Not having to cure each layer individually — and preheat the gas system each time — leads to significant throughput gains and energy savings for shops using short wave electric infrared curing technology.
Electric IR uses only the electrical power supplied in the shop, whereas gas catalytic systems rely on a catalytic chemical reaction to produce energy, as well as yearly checkups for potential cracks or leaks in the gas line. The gas catalytic reaction happens only after the units are preheated to a certain temperature — a process that takes 10 minutes or more. To prevent time lost to warm-up, gas catalytic units are typically left on all day, consuming a large amount of energy. Electric IR units use only 3 kw of power (at a cost of only 40 cents) for the entire repair process of a vehicle, while gas units use more energy than that just during the preheating phase.
Short wave electric infrared technology has been proven to provide significant energy cost savings, as well as throughput gains and quality improvements. It is no wonder that short wave electric IR technology is transforming collision repair shops across the globe. By offering a faster, more complete and predictable cure, REVO Systems from GFS provide significant energy savings and can eliminate a number of issues that challenge many body shops and collision repair centers and slow the drying and rework process.