UV LED Curing: Delivering Dramatic Process Improvements

Manufacturing managers and process engineers need consistent, high-production processes that deliver quality products daily. In addition, leading manufacturers embrace lean manufacturing methods as they strive for continuous improvements to their production processes. Ultraviolet (UV) LED curing technology improves existing manufacturing processes.

UV Curing Basics

UV curing is a photochemical process that changes a liquid ink, coating or adhesive into a solid. Instead of using heat to drive off solvents or water, UV energy causes “drying” of the specially formulated photosensitive chemistry in just seconds. From its first use in the graphic arts printing industry over 40 years ago, a broad range of industrial manufacturers now use UV curing for a wide variety of processes such as wood coating, electronics assembly, medical device coating and assembly, automotive parts coating and marking, plastics decorating, and many more.

An efficient UV-curing process needs to match the output of the UV-curing lamps to the absorption characteristics of the UV chemistry.

Advantages of UV LEDs for Manufacturing

UV LED embraces many of the advantages of traditional UV curing for manufacturing processes. It offers advanced capabilities beyond traditional UV curing. First is low heat. UV LEDs do not generate any infrared output that is translated into heat. 

The second major improvement is process stability. Manufacturing companies need consistent, stable output.

UV LEDs offer many advantages, including significantly longer lifetimes, consistent output, more energy efficiency, instant on/off and no ozone emissions.

UV LED Lamps

Commercially available for over 10 years, a UV LED generates UV energy by applying an electric current to a semiconductor device called a diode, causing it to emit UV energy

LED Benefits

UV LEDs offer many advantages, including significantly longer lifetimes, consistent output, more energy efficiency, no ozone emissions, no mercury waste, much less heat onto the substrate, instant on/off, and a small-form factor ideal for incorporating into processes or machinery with little available space.