Glass activator reduces windscreen leaks

As windscreen technicians we are fully aware of the importance of windscreen activator. At some point in time we have all come across a windscreen that has not bonded correctly and in the worst cases the windscreen can be pushed out without much resistance at all.

Windscreen activator for bonding surfaces correctly.
Sika Windscreen Activator, prepares glass surfaces for bonding

For those who don’t know, windscreen activator is a solution in which you wipe on the bonding surfaces of the glass. This enhances the bonding surface of the windscreen and activates the adhesive on contact.

With today’s generic windscreens we are faced with other challenges and activating the windscreen may not be enough for a safe, secure, windscreen installation.

Generic windscreens that are imported to Australia are packed in plastic wrapping. They are then packaged in crates and sent to Australia on slow boat from China.

By the time we get around to unpacking the windscreens for installation there is a residue/stain left on the glass from the packaging. We believe this could be the result of condensation. This may occur from being packed in plastic wrap for a long period of time. However, if anyone else has a theory please share it with us.

The residue/stain on the glass can usually be removed with a simple wipe of windex. However, in some cases Cerium Oxide must be used to remove it.

The problem with the residue is it also effects the bonding area on the black edges of the windscreen (The Frit Band). In just about every case the residue repels the windscreen activator and threatens the whole bonding process. It has a similar effect as Rain X.

Windscreen activation by Service 8® Auto Glass Replacement
Only half has been cleaned before we activated this windscreen

Fortunately Sika has produced a product called Sika Cleaner S(11). Don’t laugh, we know it sounds like a fast super car, but hey, every corporation is doing it these days. It would not surprises us if they added the word “sport” to the title and as well. “The Sika Cleaner S(11) Sport”. Sounds cool.

Anyway, what Sika Cleaner does is clean the bonding surface of the windscreen/auto glass and to be fair, it does a pretty good job too. As the images illustrate, the uncleaned half of the windscreen has repelled the activator and the other has not. Needless to say the untreated area would not adhere too the glass surface as well.

Clean windscreen surfaces for bonding - Sika S3
Sika Cleaner S(11), great for preparing bonding surfaces on windscreens

Service 8® gives the thumbs up Sika Cleaner and if you don’t use it you should consider it. Not because we are on the payroll at Sika Australia, as we are absoloutly not. But becase it works well, its cheap, quick and easy to use.

On the flip side if anyone has a method that could be even more cost effective and does an equally good job for free, then please share it with us on the Service 8® Blog.

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