UV LED curing is a relatively new technology that incorporates the use of ultraviolet energy to change a liquid into a solid. Once the ultraviolet energy is absorbed, a polymerization reaction occurs that changes the UV material into a solid. This process happens almost instantaneously, making it an appealing alternative to traditional drying methods. While the UV LED curing system is a newer process, it has rapidly risen to fame and has become more common because of the multitude of benefits that it offers. It provides a more effective curing method for various applications while also offering advantages for the environment.
UV LED Curing Process
UV LED curing makes use of light-emitting diodes, which convert electrical current into light. When the current flows through an LED, it emits ultraviolet radiation. The radiation brings about a few chemical reactions in the liquid molecules, which then forms chains of polymers until the liquid becomes a solid. This process is quite new, and its discovery was inspired by the need to provide solutions to many of the issues faced when one tried traditional UV curing and heat-set drying.
Previously, the UV curing process involved the use of mercury arc lamps. The lamps would then create the ultraviolet light that would change liquid inks, adhesives, and coatings into a solid. This type of UV curing process isn’t completely extinct and is still used in some industries, such as packaging. However, it has some negative effects on the environment. As a result, alongside other factors, many industries are making the switch to newer LED UV curing.
Pros of UV LED Curing Technology
The traditional mercury arc lamps used in the past have shown several disadvantages in recent years, particularly for the environment. Apart from the fact that they use mercury, which poses a long-term danger to the environment, they also produce ozone and need exhaust systems to help prevent contaminated air. The same UV curing systems also consume a lot of energy when operating, and they create a lot of heat. UV LED curing, on the other hand, offers all the benefits of traditional curing, but most importantly, it solves the problem of environmental pollution and degradation. This new technology reduces heat radiation and offers instant on-and-off switching. In addition, UV LED curing doesn’t need to use moving parts, which reduces the amount of energy required.
When you take out its benefit to the environment, LED, UV printing also allows printers to use different heat-sensitive substrates. It also provides increased productivity because of how quickly and effectively it cures liquid UV Chemistry.
Applications of UV LED Curing
UV LED curing has quickly replaced the traditional curing methods as the go-to curing method, and most applications that formerly depended on mercury arc lamps can now be done using UV LED curing. This includes applications that involve adhesives, coatings, and printing inks.
UV LED curing can be useful to virtually any industry that uses inks, varnishes, silicones, seals, or adhesives. The number of industries and applications are expanding all the time as more people adopt this method.
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