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TERMS and TECHNOLOGY: GEL SYTEMS
TERMS and TECHNOLOGY: GEL SYTEMS

Did you realize that traditional acrylic nail systems as well as gel nail system come from the same tree? Yes, that's right! Acrylate is at the heart of both these systems. Both systems are composed of monomers. They both require energy in order to cause a chemical change. Although the chemistry may be different, there is some overlap in these enhancement products.

Let's start with the MYTHS

Acrylics are chemicals, but gels are not.

This myth was probably based on the fact that acrylic liquids have an odor and gels don’t. Monomer's scent is directly affected by the evaporation of a specific ingredient. The vapor that results from evaporation causes the odor to be released. Gels have no evaporation rates, so there is not a odor. Acrylic and Gels both are Chemicals.

Acrylic chemicals cannot be found in gel products

Nothing could be further from reality. Acrylate, the main chemical in both these products, forms acrylic. They are both acrylic in FACT. Acrylic powders, or Methacrylate, are referred too as gels.

In the mid 80s gels were first introduced to the nail market. The goal was for a strong, durable enhancement that would be comparable to acrylic. Gels also have a glossy, hard look. These gels have a lighter molecular weight because they are made from a urethaneacrylate oligomer based. They don't soak up solvents because of this.

WHAT ARE OOLIGOMERS?

Oligomers are preformed monomer chains with short lengths that form the chemistry for gels. These chains can be formed because the monomers in gel have been linked. The monomers in gel are pre-mixed so that there is no need for you to worry about the mix ratio. It takes less time to cure acrylics than traditional acrylics, which take as long as 48 hours to fully harden.

PHOTO INITIATORS

Photo Initiators are able to use LED and UV lights to create the free radicals needed for curing. In general, the quicker the cure, the greater the number of PI's within a formula. Heat spikes often occur during curing. The PI's generate heat while hardening, and they create energy.

Technicians should apply gel in thin layers. It is better to do several layers than one to get the correct enhancement. You should also be aware that thick layers prevent light from reaching the bottom layer, which can cause service breakdown and undercured product.

NSI scientists involved in the formulation of these products have to be careful about using the correct photo initiators. Three factors are crucial in UV andLED curing.

* A balance between the photograph initiators and nail lamps.

* The spectrum and intensity available UV or LED lights.

* The length of the light exposure.

TERMINOLOGY

Oligomer is the backbone to gel chemistry. It's a small, pre-formed chain made up of individual monomers. In light-cured materials, urethaneacrylate oligomers have superior toughness. They provide the base for all gels, and they play a critical role in determining how gel works.

Gel Powder is basically acrylic powder combined with a resin-based system for dipping. To make gel polish more affordable, some manufacturers market dip systems as a healthy alternative to gel polish.

UV/LED Gels: An oligomer based nail product that requires ultraviolet/LED energy to cure. A technician can work in the UV gel for unlimited time before it cures under a UV/LED lamp. They are durable and tough, making them suitable for any service. They are resistant to solvents, so they need to be filed for removal.

Hard Gels – This is another term for a traditional gel-enhancement that is solvent resistant. "Hard" could refer to the non-porous gel that must be filed off for its removal. The sculpting gels hard gels come in many viscosities. You cannot soak off hard gels, you must remove them.

Soft Gels (or Removable Gels) - These gels offer an easy way to get rid of traditional hard gels. Removable gels retain many of the same properties as traditional hard gels. However, they can be soaked in Acetone to dissolve. They are strong enough for shaping enhancements, so don't let their wording "removable", "soft", give them the wrong impression.

Gel Polish – This is a term that refers to a series of light-cured, thin gels that last longer than traditional air-dry nails. Gel polish can add strength and protection to your natural nails, but they cannot be used for sculpting. Gel Polishes tend be

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