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Application of Reflexite VC104 Curtain Grade Heat Activatable (HA) Version

Written On By Katie

Reflexite VC104 Curtain grade HA can be applied to trucks and trailers with new curtains.

Tools required
Clean cloths
Craft knife
Squeegee covered with a clean cloth to avoid scratching the material
Cleaner – Isopropyl alcohol
Hot air gun Travelling rig or high frequency welding equipment

Application Temperature
To ensure proper adhesion between the tape and the cleaned curtain,
bonding materials must be applied when both curtain and tape temperature is between 15 degrees C and 38 degrees C. The temperature needs to be consistant for at least one hour after application. NB! It is recommended that reflexite VC104 curtain grade HA is stored at room temperature.

Where To Apply

It is recommended to position the tape minimum 15cm above the buckles. Use the guidelines provided in regulation of ECE 104 to ensure that the tape is general positioned correctly on the vehicle.

Step 1 – Initial Preperation

The tape should be applied on a flat surface, and lightly tensioned at either end ensuring that the curtain surface is flat. It is recommended that the curtain is not over-tensioned during application.

Step 2 – Surface Cleaning

The purpose of cleaning the curtain so to remove any dirt or contamination. It is very important that the surface must be free of dust and grease, and ideally the surface should be smooth. Use a clean cloth with isopropyl alcohol to wipe the surface in one direction only to avoid spreading contamination. With a dry clean cloth wipe away the cleaner before evaporation. Repeat this proccess untill the surface is clean, i.e. when there is now visual dirt or contamination transfer onto the cloth. Ensure the surface is dry and the isopropyl alcohol has completely evaporated before commencing application.

Step 3 – Alignment

A pencil line can be used if a straight line guide is required.

Step 4 – Application

See sections A and B for machine set up guide lines for hot air gun equipment and high frequency welding equipment respectively.

A) Hot air application instructions

Always adhere to manufacturer’s operating instructions when using hot air application equipment. Reflexite recommended the hot air gun travelling rig as the prefered method of application method for Reflexite VC104 Curtain Grade HA, and Reflexite dose not recommend the use of handheld hot air guns for application of Reflexite VC104 curtain grade HA.

Position the Reflexite VC104 Curtain Grade HA in the Hot Air Gun Travelling Rig, as per manufacturers instructions, ensuring the adhesive is in contact with the curtain.
Heat the Hot Air Gun for one minute, before introducing the heat to the exposed adhesive.
On a spare piece of curtain ensure the gun setup of temperature and speed is giving the desired adhesion to the surface. Test the strength of the bond after it has cooled down (approximately 5 minutes), and alter machine parameters if necessary to achieve a permanent bond. It is the applicators’s responsibility to ensure the correct parameters are set to achieve a permanent bond between the tape and the curtain.

Guide line parameters

The width of the nozzle on the hot air gun should be greater than or equal to the width of the material being applied. The heat nozzle should be set up so that the hot air is blown towards the curtain material and the adhesive side of the tape.
The typical temperature range, running speed, and distance of heat nozzle from material will vary from machine to machine, but the following can be used as guide line parameters:
Tyoical heat of hot air may range from 100 degrees C to 160 degrees C.
Typical running speed may range from 2-4 metres per minute
A roller can apply pressure if the rig or set up has one.
Distance of nozzle can vary from 5mm to 30mm.

Position the hot air gun travelling rig 20mm from the edge of the curtain at the recommended height and commence application down the length of the curtain using the previously set parameters.

After sealing the length of tape onto the curtain, the clear polyester carrier film can be removed. When the sealing process is finished, care should be taken when rolling the curtain to ensure that no sharp folds or bends are present.

NB! All corners of the tape should be rounded using a pair of scissors or sharp blade. It is recommended that this is done before the tape is applied to the curtain.

B. High frequency welding application instructions

Always adhere to manafacture’s operating and safety instructions when using high frequncy welding equipment. Position the Reflexite VC104 HA tape over the area to be sealed reflective side up and adhesive side contacting the curtain and cut to length leaving 20mm at either end. Fix the ends of the tape to the curtain by taping place temporarily using a piece of masking tape.

On a spare piece of curtain ensure the machine parameter setup is giving the desired weld strength to ensure a permenant bend. Test the strength of the weld, and alter the machine parameters if necessary to achieve a permanant bond. It is the applicators responsibilty to ensure the correct parameters are set to achieve a permanent bond between the tape and the curtain.

Guide line parameters

Avoid using high levels of HF power at the initial welding stage. Where possible (if the sealing machine has the capability) use pre-programmed welding stages increasing in:
HF power applied
Welding time
Pressure applied

During the sealing process, small flashes / arcs can appear in the tape itself, as current from the sealing machine will be transmitted along the metallized layer in the product construction.

The actual welding set-up will vary from machine to machine. The tooling used will also vary from set-up to set-up, but it should ideally be of brass or aluminium, and the width of the tool should match the width of the tape.

Move the head of the HF unit along the length of the tape to start the weld. When welding use an overlap of 5mm at each index joint until the length of the tape is fully sealed.

After sealing the length of the tape onto the curtain the clear polyester carrier film is to be removed. When the sealing process is finished care should be taken when rolling the curtain to ensure there are no sharp folds or bends present.

NB! All corners of the tape should be rounded using a pair of scissors or sharp blade. It is recommended that this is done before the tape is applied to the curtain.

Step 5 – Bonding time

The bond is at full strength immediately, however care should be taken when rolling the curtain to ensure no sharpe folds or bends are present. The curtain should be folded in such a way, that the tape is on the outside and not folded in.

Written in VC312
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