Adjusting to High Temperatures on the Job
by Penny Stacey
With the Southwestern area of the United States reaching temperatures over 100 degrees almost daily, and the rest of the country seeing temperatures in the 70s, 80s and 90s, what steps should auto glass repair and replacement technicians be taking to ensure the temperatures don't affect their work?
According to Carl Tompkins, the Seattle-based Western sales manager for the Sika Corp., there are two key words auto glass installers should consider: decking and viscosity. According to Tompkins, when cold-applied adhesives are applied in hot temperatures like those Phoenix and Vegas are seeing this week, the adhesive loses its viscosity and decking properties. Dictionary.com defines viscosity as "the property of a fluid that resists the force tending to cause the fluid to flow."
Tompkins noted that in warmer temperatures, cold-applied adhesives tend to lose viscosity, meaning that they flow more easily-which can make a replacement difficult.
"The beads don't hold up, and the windshield is going to slide in the opening-all these different things are going to come into play," Tompkins says. However, he notes that this is only a matter of inconvenience.
"[The adhesive will] stick to anything. It tends to move, [and] it's sloppy," he says. "It's not a safety issue-it's a cosmetic issue. The technicians are going to have to be careful with how they apply it. They're going to have to tape more glass to make sure it doesn't move."
In order to lessen this problem, Tompkins says Sika advises technicians to try to cool the adhesive slightly before doing the job, and to not apply cold-applied adhesives in direct sunlight if it's more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit outside.
He adds that techs can also utilize hot-applied urethanes, which can be used at any temperature. "It doesn't matter if it's 100 degrees out or 0 degrees out, because we're putting the urethane on at a higher temperature than what Mother Nature can dish out," Tompkins says.
Windshield repair technicians see their share of issues as well, when hot weather strikes. Bend, Ore.-based Glas-Weld warns that flowering, a distorted ring around the repair, is often likely to occur during hot-weather repairs. To resist flowering in hot temperatures, Glas-Weld suggests using a thicker repair resin, lightening up on the pressure when inserting the resin and cooling the glass before conducting the repairs.
Are you currently experiencing hotter-than-normal conditions in your area? CLICK HERE to discuss hot-weather issues you've encountered with others.
Penny Stacey is the editor of glassBYTES.comô/AGRR magazine.
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