LOCA Application Tips and Technique
Liquid optically clear adhesives (LOCA) require precision application in order to prevent the formation of bubbles, air pockets, uneven distribution and spillover. Perfect clarity and illumination can be obtained by following some simple techniques. Below you can find some tips on how to apply your LOCA properly.
- Preparation: Prepare the surface in which you will apply your LOCA by making sure it is clean and dry. You'll need to secure your surface to prevent touch and movement while transporting to your UV lamp. Cardboard, folded cardstock, or other thin and rigid objects allow you to move your setup without touching the surface or nudging the screen. Secure your surface with tape to avoid slippage and to maintain a flat orientation.
- Application: When you are ready to apply your LOCA, start in the middle and slowly apply a constant stream of adhesive while moving out one corner and back. Never break your stream of LOCA as this can create bubbles. Continue to the next corner and come back again to the middle. You should form an "X" pattern with a decent blob of LOCA in the middle. If you start your application and then start again, you will hurt your chances at a perfect application.
- Placement: Before placing your screen remove only the back side protective film, leave the front on for protection. When ready to place, start at one side and slowly lower your screen down to the LOCA. As soon as touch is made go even slower and gently move the end of the screen in the air toward the surface. You want gravity doing the work for a clear and even spread. Do not press on the screen or you may create bubbles, spillover or even press out too much adhesive for an uneven display. Give it time and be patient. You can put a little pressure on the screen to get that last corner that isn't covered. Be careful not to press too hard. *If you do create a bubble gently slide the screen well off the side of the surface without applying any pressure. The LOCA will stay somewhat in place. Get your bubble off the side and the return the screen to its original position.*
- Curing: Secure your screen in place with scotch tape when you position it as desired. The tape can go right on your rigid support under the surface. Your protective film should still be on top. Move the screen into your UV curing light by using the rigid transport chassis you created earlier. Another popular way to hold your screen is to place it on a roll of electrical tape to keep it steady.
- Finishing up: Leave your cured scree/glue to dry next to a window, the UV light coming in should cure the edges where too much LOCA has accumulated.
Finished! Now you can install your light without the worry of defects. Happy modding!