UV LED Curing for Medical Devices

LED curing technology uses semiconductor-based light emitting diodes (LEDs) to project ultraviolet (UV) light when an electric current is passed through them. When an LED is forward-biased, electrons are able to recombine with electron holes within the device, thus releasing energy in the form of photons. The color of the light emitted or corresponding energy of the photon is determined by the energy gap of the semiconductor material.

Traditionally, mercury-based UV lamps had been utilized for curing. Now, more energy efficient and environmentally friendly LED-based UV technology is becoming a viable solution in the medical device industry. UV LED curing technology could potentially replace all existing traditional mercury arc lamps. This transition from traditional lamps to UV LED lamps is beginning to make a huge impact on adhesive curing in medical devices. Small form factor coupled with low heat generation are the two main driving factors in medical applications, leading transition from Hg lamps to UV LED curing solutions. Additionally, consistent energy output for curing adhesives reduces process variations when using UV LED curing lamps, thus providing improved yields and throughput with tighter process controls as required in the medical industry.

UV curing is gaining traction in the medical field for curing inks and adhesives on various devices, accessories, and other medical equipment.

UV LED curing lamps consist of multiple subcomponents that, when optimally combined, can drive the system performance. Key components of the UV LED light source can be grouped into four categories: LEDs; Array; Optics; and Thermals.

UV curing is gaining traction in the medical field for curing inks and adhesives on various devices, accessories, and other medical equipment. LED curing technology is a good fit for many medical device assembly applications providing multiple benefits, including higher throughputs, controlled process repeatability, and operator safety. The medical industry is driving toward various new challenging applications to use the latest and greatest UV LED curing lamps.

UV LED curing is fast becoming an accepted, user-friendly technology in the medical device industry, as it provides good process control with higher throughput. Compact size with consistent output energy enables curing of adhesives with minimal heat damage to the adjacent components. This solution provides the end user with repeatability in the manufacturing process and promotes a safe working environment for the operators in the assembly of medical equipment. Both the 365 and 395 nm wavelengths are used equally in various applications with the 365 nm option preferred for applications where heat is a major concern.