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What's in the fibreglass system?
The fabric in this system provides a reinforced structure, acting like the polymer beads in the liquid monomer and polymer powder system, blocking cracks from spreading. Typically the fabric mesh is fibreglass or natural silk mesh. There are slight differences between the two, fibreglass doesn’t absorb the resin as well as the silk which is why silk mesh is less visible. Fibreglass is slightly stronger as it stays as fibreglass and does not soak up the resin. The fabric mesh is needed as the resin when it polymerises does not form cross-links to other polymer chains, meaning it is slightly weaker on its own, which is why the mesh is used to provide additional strength and durability.
Although referred to as resin, this component is actually a cyanoacrylate. There are various types on the market, some are thick gels, others thinner. Cyanoacrylate bonds strongly with the nail plate and is also used as nail adhesives and for adding nail tips to nails. This family of acrylates cure when exposed to moisture in the air.
The resin breaks down quickly in water and in acetone, due to its chemical structure.
As mentioned above, the resin starts polymerising when exposed to moisture in the air. An activator is used to speed up the process and to ensure a proper cure, either a spray or brush-on is used. When using a spray be careful and cautious, normally only a tiny amount of activator is needed; too much can cause a heat spike. A brush on activator produces a slower but more controllable cure.
Precautions and issues with the fibreglass system
This system is not as strong as the other systems but can still produce great results especially on shorter nails or with clients who are not too hard on their nails.
As it is a different formulation to the other systems it may be suitable for clients who have developed a sensitivity to other systems.
Overuse of the activator spray can cause a painful heat spike; usually only a very short spray 30cm from the nail is need.