We post this every year because it is a major cause for concern from our customers. Picture it: you order some UV coating in January and get excited when the UPS truck stops outside your shop. Impatient, you open up the bucket of coating and see a solid block of goo. No way is that going to work in your expensive coater.
As the temperature dips across the nation, we get calls from new users of UV coating equipment complaining about extremely thick UV coating fluid. It’s become an annual tradition around here to post this reminder so customers realize that they need to warm up their UV coating fluid. Many longtime customers expect it like the time change. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as winter grips the Northern Hemisphere.
Delivery trucks are not heated
We try to keep shipping times as short as possible, but ground service still takes a few days. Icy weather makes everything take longer. Expect delays, especially around the holidays. If you recently received a shipment of UV coating, or need to reorder soon, it may take several days to arrive at your shop. Most of that time the packages are sitting in an unheated truck or trailer. While it may be uncommon for UV coating fluid to freeze solid, cold fluid simply does not perform well in UV coating machines.
When temperatures dip below 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18° C), the fluid starts to thicken. At a certain point it simply will not pour out of the jug or bucket. Imagine what that would do to the fluid lines in your UV coating machine. You made a huge investment in your equipment. Take care of it by warming up the fluid.
It’s not ruined
After receiving a shipment of UV coating, simply allow it to warm up before running it through your machine. Make sure you allow it to warm up to room temperature before use. Most 1 gallon jugs will be fine after warming overnight, but this could take up to 24 hours with 5-gallon buckets.
For best results, either shake or stir your UV coating fluid before it goes into your UV coating machine. Especially after traveling, you want the fluid to be consistent, with no thick portions that did not warm evenly. Mixing properly ensures the fluid flows evenly and cures correctly when applied to your documents.
Store it away from cold air
While there isn’t any danger with storing fluid in cooler areas, you will need to allow time to warm it up before use. For best results when storing UV coating fluid, make sure it is in an area of your shop that stays warm. Otherwise, you might have to let it return to room temperature and stir it every single time you need to use your UV coater.
UV Coating fluid, when applied, provides your documents with protection and shine to bring out the best in your printed material. To ensure the proper performance, care needs to be taken in colder temperatures to ensure every project is perfect. It’s not much more work, it’s just part of the process. Why waste money when you should be maximizing your savings using UV Coating in the first place. If you follow the advice given, your machines and your customers will be happy.