Dry vacuum technology: Why it works
March 1, 2008
Industry standards and regulations have changed the way windshield repair manufacturers and technicians view the repair process. Many manufacturers are rethinking their repair systems, and new technologies are emerging. The “dry vacuum” approach differs from existing methods in how and when the resin is distributed into the break. To understand this new technology, let’s first look at the traditional processes for repairing a windshield break.
The first windshield repair method used a pressure injector to compress the resin into the repair without removing any of the air from the break.
Currently, the most common repair method involves a pressure/vacuum injector that extracts the air through the resin collected at the tip of the injector. The air moves through the resin barrier prior to extraction, reducing the amount of trapped air the technician can evacuate. This method requires multiple vacuum cycles to be effective, increasing repair time.
The dry vacuum
The dry vacuum method utilizes a vacuum pressure injector, but the vacuum extracts the air from the break before the resin collects at the break surface. As a result, the air does not have to travel through a resin barrier, allowing technicians to evacuate the break faster and easier. Technicians can extract the air from the break during the vacuum cycle before applying the resin to the surface of the glass.
Air is the primary culprit in preventing resin from getting into the break. The more air you can extract from the break, the easier it will be to fill, resulting in a higher quality repair.
“The process of pulling air out of a break prior to injecting resin makes logical sense and works amazingly well,” says Eric Howe, director of retail operations for M.A.R.S. International, Grand Prairie, Texas. “The new technology boasts a more powerful vacuum because there is no barrier of resin preventing air from being extracted. This is a great mechanical improvement to windshield repair.”
In the last five years, changes to industry standards, regulations and processes have driven the windshield repair industry to take a common stance in regards to safe, quality service. I would like to think those involved in the creation of the ANSI-approved Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard and the National Glass Association and National Windshield Repair Association’s windshield repair certification programs had the sole purpose of unifying the industry with the best interests of the consumer in mind. This dry vacuum technology gives technicians the opportunity to enhance their service. Looking forward, I am excited to see a more established and professional industry.