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UV LEDs Ramp up the Quiet Side of the LED Market

Below the visible spectrum lies a band of wavelengths called ultraviolet (UV). Ranging from 100 to 400 nm, the radiation can effectively be used to sterilize cosmetics, perform forensic analysis, cure materials and disinfect water, among many other applications. Today, as is the case with LEDs in the visible spectrum, UV LEDs are only beginning to replace the established UV sources in a likewise diverse array of markets.

UV LEDs bring such benefits as knowing precisely what power level is being delivered to the curing medium, as well as other advantages LEDs are known for, such as the ability to pulse-width-modulate the output.

By far, the UV curing market is enjoying the greatest surge in UV-LED adoption due to the relatively recent breakthrough in flux density of UV-LED chips beyond the 4W/cm² mark at the different wavelengths needed to bring UV-LED curing into production facilities. 

UV LEDs bring such benefits as knowing precisely what power level is being delivered to the curing medium, as well as other advantages LEDs are known for, such as the ability to pulse-width-modulate the output.

The transition to UV LEDs also opened the door to more environmentally friendly curing formulations. With the next generation of products that ink, coating and adhesive companies were developing, they used the opportunity to phase-out volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with the solvent-based formulations of past chemistries.

Stacy Volk, marketing communications specialist at Phoseon Technology in Hillboro, OR, a maker of UV-LED curing systems, pointed out some of the additional advantages associated with UV-LED curing include a controlled curing intensity, scalable equipment, and the fact that the machines are smaller and compact.