Licron Crystal How-To Guide

 

Licron Crystal How-To Guide

SURFACE PREP   |   COATING TOOLS   |   COATING PLEXIGLAS   |   COATING CARDBOARD


Hi, this is Kevin Pawlowskski, Application Specialist with Techspray. Today, I'm going to take you through instructions on how to get the best results out of Licron Crystal.

Licron Crystal is a permanent, ESD-safe coding that can turn normal everyday items into static dissipative tools and surfaces suitable for S2020 areas. Licron crystal is urethane based and stack dissipated, so it adds a fine layer to the surface of the item.

If the coated item is grounded properly, any excess charge will bleed off to ground. This prevents hotspots from developing and damaging sensitive electronics.

Let's get into how to apply Licron Crystal. I'll be demonstrating the coating process on a Plato Shear Cutter, which has insulative grips, a piece of Plexiglas, which we'll want to keep transparent, and, believe it or not, a cardboard box.



Surface Preparation Before Coating with Licron Crystal

Like anytime you paint or code something, you need to make sure there's no contamination. I recommend isopropyl alcohol, 70% pure or higher, on a lint-free wipe.

Just wipe down the surface you plan to coat to take off any oils or fingerprints or anything else that negatively impacts adhesion. This doesn't apply to cardboard, of course, because of its porosity. It's a lot more forgiving.


How To Coat Tools with Licron Crystal

There isn't much to coating a tool, it's pretty much like using spray paint, except you apply it very lightly.

Just set down the tool on a surface that can handle the over-spray.

Shake the can several times to mix, hold the can upright eight to 10 inches from the tool, and apply light passes. And turn, and apply another coat, and turn again, to apply yet another coat. This prevents shadowing.

In about 10 minutes, it will be dry to the touch. At that point, you can flip it over and coat the other side.


How To Coat Plexiglas with Licron Crystal

Coating Plexiglas is trickier because the goal should be to maintain a transparent appearance. Crystal might be in the name of Licron Crystal, but if you apply it unevenly or too much, you'll end up with a blue haze. The key is to be really controlled with your application.

Shake the can to mix, keep the can eight to 10 inches away, and barely dust the surface with the spray. Keep each pass very even, and your motions smooth.

To be honest, if you have a large transparent surface to cover and its clarity is important, you will have to use something like an automotive sprayer. Getting that kind of consistency from an aerosol can is very challenging.


How To Coat Cardboard with Licron Crystal

This is the easiest of the bunch. Shake the can to mix, hold the can eight to 10 inches away, and apply a light coating. Since you aren't worried about aesthetics, you can overlap your passes more, and make sure you have adequate continuity.

Remember, you're almost dusting the surface with the coating, not a thick layer. Cardboard will absorb as much as you apply to it, but it won't improve the surface resistivity.

Curing Licron Crystal

Let it cure for 24 hours before you use the coated item. If you're able to bake the item between 120 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit, you can shorten that to one to two hours.


Resistivity Testing

After it's cured, you can now take a resistivity meter and test the surface resistivity of the treated surfaces. You want to see something between 10 to the sixth to 10 to the 10th.

First, the Plato cutter. Perfect.

Next, the Plexiglas. Right on target.

And finally, the cardboard. We now have an ESD-safe box.

The final step will be grounding the item. For the tool, you should be grounded with something like a wrist strap. When you hold the cutter, it will have continuity to you, and you'll be attached to ground.

For Plexiglas, you can actually drill through it and attach a grounding wire with a conductive fastener. Large washers ensure adequate contact with a dissipative surface.

So that's all you need to know to properly use Licron Crystal. If you have any questions, feel free to call or email us, or go to Techspray.com.

 

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