« Back to In the News

UV LED: From Idea to Success

Bill Cortelyou, President & CEO, Phoseon Technology, provides an overview on the advancement in the UV LED curing market and its growing popularity in printing and coating applications

in the approximately 10 years since UV LED (Ultra-Violet Light-Emitting-Diode) curing lamps appeared on the market, there have been significant technological advances in LED efficiency and curing lamp performance. The initial challenges have been met and overcome allowing rapid technology adoption across a broad range of industries.

As air-cooled technology and diode efficiency improved, air-cooled UV  LED lamps are now capable of curing materials at high speeds once reserved for water-cooled systems.

UV LED BENEFITS
While one might argue with any specific cited advantage of the UV LED lamps, the sum total of the advantages of UV LED curing lamps is clear. They provide:

1. New capabilities to end-users and machi-nebuilders by allowing tighter control over the curing process, especially on heat-sensitive substrates

2. Operating economics include reductions through energy efficiency, low maintenance and long lifetimes

3. Environmental advantages by being ozone and mercury free as well as improving workplace safety

Typical of many new technologies there needed to be a 'starting-point' where a specific benefit of the new technology 'out-weighs' the traditional method. UV inkjet applications (particularly on heat sensitive substrates) were an early and clear success for the UV LED curing lamps. Continued development has enabled the UV LED based curing lamp to be the best overall solution for UV inkjet curing applications.

UV LED lamps are available in air-cooled and water-cooled versions. Historically, the primary reason for water-cooling was to efficiently cool the LEDs so they could operate reliably at high power outputs. As air-cooled technology and diode efficiency improved, air-cooled UV  LED lamps are now capable of curing materials at high speeds once reserved for water-cooled systems.