What is UV Coating?

The UV Coating Process Explained

Ultraviolet (UV) curing technology is utilized for "drying," or curing, coatings and other UV-sensitive materials through a photo-chemical process known as photopolymerization. Photopolymerization occurs when a liquid containing a photoinitiator, is exposed to UV light. The photoinitiator then starts a chemical reaction that creates long, continuous bonds which hardens, or cures, the material. When using a UV LED curing system, the coating must be formulated to use photoinitiators targeted to the narrow wavelength band produced by LEDs, as opposed as the broad spectrum produced by a typical arc lamp. This creates a safer and more efficient process by eliminating the harmful UV-B and UV-C wavelength ranges, as well as eliminating the intense heat produced by the infrared (IR) wavelengths from an arc lamp.

UV Coating Advantages

Phoseon's UV LED curing solutions are being utilized by the UV coating industry because they offer enhanced system capabilities due to being a solid state device, lower operating costs and environmental benefits of a safer workplace with no hazardous materials. Unlike mercury arc lamps, solid-state LEDs do not rapidly degrade during normal use. While an arc lamp may last only a few hundred hours, LEDs can run for tens of thousands of hours with minimal degradation in output. This not only reduces replacement costs, but eliminates uniformity concerns with traditional UV lamps. In addition, because UV LED systems do not contain mercury, which is used in arc lamps, it is safer for the environment and workplace.  UV LED technology allows for a variety of heat-sensitive substrates that are unusable with traditional UV arc lamps, due to the IR output which adds heat to the substrate. For example, UV LED curing allows manufacturers to coat fine thread with specialized chemicals to produce “smart textiles” for applications such as protective clothing.