Light-cured lateral CIPP lining is one of the most popular trends in trenchless rehabilitation technologies and one of the questions HammerHead Trenchless hears a lot is, “What’s the difference between Bluelight LED and UV?”

All light-curing systems are based on photo-initiating resin, meaning the resin is specially formulated to cure only when exposed to a specific range of wavelengths of light within the electromagnetic spectrum.

Light penetration and exposure time are incredibly important for curing quality in all light-cured systems, and this fact shaped how the company’s Bluelight system was developed. If the curing light does not fully penetrate the resin, or if the exposure time is too short, the outer layers of the CIPP may not cure properly where the liner meets the host pipe. This also affects the overall strength of the CIPP composite, which may not meet ASTM F1216 standards.

On a different wavelength

The biggest difference between Bluelight and UV lateral CIPP systems is the wavelength of the light used. UV systems cure using ultraviolet light which is a wide range of wavelengths from 100 to 400 nanometers. The Bluelight system cures using specifically blue light (hence the name) which is a very focused range of visible light from 444 to 457 nanometers. This makes a difference in the quality and speed of the cure, according to HammerHead Trenchless, and it’s why the company’s light-curing system uses blue light rather than UV.

The wide spectrum of UV light is less intense and lower in wattage than blue light, which can create issues penetrating the resin, leading to an incomplete cure. UV-cured resins are typically used with liners constructed with fiberglass and a reflective outer foil to help refract the UV light and increase its ability to penetrate the resin.

The Bluelight system’s LED light head ensures deep penetration and a complete cure that does not rely on glass or foil in the liner. The static head design with 360-degree LED lights ensures the entire circumference of the liner is exposed to light throughout the cure. The Bluelight system’s smart technology manages the light head travel speed based on the liner diameter and thickness. Taking the guesswork out of light head pullback speed ensures that light penetrates the resin fully to ensure an efficient and complete cure every time. 

HammerHead Trenchless, a Charles Machine Works Co., of Lake Mills, Wisconsin, manufactures and delivers a unique combination of rehabilitation, replacement and installation equipment and consumables for the underground construction market. Besides being a full-solutions provider in rehabilitation and replacement, HammerHead also offers quality field support and project consultation to its customers worldwide. HammerHead products are proudly made in the U.S. and sold and serviced in more than 63 countries.

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