UV Curing Technology Glossary

Glossary terms and abbreviations related to UV curing technology.

Glossary Terms

uv curing glossary

LED UV curing
Ultraviolet electronic light source that utilizes LEDs (light emitting diodes) used for drying inks, coatings, adhesives and other UV sensitive materials through polymerization instead of evaporation.

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Arc lamp
An arc lamp or arc light is the general term for a class of lamps that produce light by an electric arc. An arc lamp is also called a discharge lamp, or an arc discharge lamp. The type of lamp is often named by the gas contained in the bulb; including neon, argon, xenon, krypton, sodium, metal halide, and mercury. The common fluorescent lamp is actually a low-pressure mercury arc lamp.

Binders (for UV printing inks)
Momomers, prepolymers - usually acrylate compounds. With the help of the photoinitiators, the liquid acrylate compounds react under the influence of UV light to form a solid plastic film. Binders are produced synthetically.

Energy absorbed per unit mass.

Drop-On-Demand (DoD)
A drop-on-demand inkjet printhead differs from the continuous ones in that a physical process is manipulated to momentarily overcome the surface tension forces and emit a drop cluster of drops. The supply is not sufficiently pressurized to form a continuous stream of fluid. Printhead systems utilizing piezoelectric technology and thermal technology operate in drop-on-demand mode.

Printing process which bings the ink with nozzles to the surface of the material. The color output works piezoelectric or thermal. Using up to six colors is possible. The printing unit uses more than one hundred nozzles. The quality is comparable with four color printing.

Irradiance is radiant power arriving at the surface from all forward angles. It is usually expressed in watts or milliwatts per square centimeter (W/cm2 or mW/cm2). The energy (expressed in J/cm2 or mJ/cm2) delivered to the substrate depends on the line speed and the irradiance.

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Nanometer (nm)
a metric unit of length equal to one billionth of a meter. It is the most common unit used to describe the manufacturing technology used in the semiconductor industry. It is the most common unit to describe the wavelength of light, with visible light falling in the region of 400–700 nm.

Peak Irradiance
Peak Irradiance is the intense peak of the focused power directly under the lamp. This is the maximum point of the irradiance profile measured in W/cm2 or mW/cm2.

Additive for UV curing printing inks and varnishes through absorption of UV light, photoinitiators form reactive products (radicals), leading to cross-linkage with the molecules in the binder.

An instrument for measuring visible light, usually filtered or corrected to match the human eye response.

Piezoelectric Drop-on-Demand Inkjet (PIJ)
An inkjet design, whose prime mover is a piezoelectric material.

a chemical process that combines several monomers to form a polymer or polymeric compound.

Inkjet "pinning" allows the ink to be partially cured immediately after being jetted to reduce dot gain and provide a sharper more vibrant image on an inkjet printer.

A device that senses irradiance incident on its sensor element. Its construction may incorporate either a thermal detector or a photonic detector. The instantaneous signal output will usually have a linear proportionally to radiant flux, and will depend on incident wavelengths. The resulting characteristic response to irradiance versus wavelength is called responsivity.

Semiconductor Light Matrix (SLM) Technology
SLM is a unique technology invented by Phoseon Technology for producing UV light. Forty years ago, mercury-based arc lamps were the only UV light source available to initiate the UV curing process. New bulb-based light sources such as Excimer bulbs, microwave sources have been introduced, but the basic technology remains the same. Phoseon Technology has developed a “bulbless" Semiconductor Light Matrix (SLM) technology to produce UV light for UV curing applications. The future of high intensity UV curing technology is small, cool and clean, with no bulb replacement required.

Phoseon's Semiconductor Light Matrix (SLM) technology combines a dense array of light emitting semiconductor devices, with micro optics and advanced thermal technology in a cost-effective MOEMS (micro opto electro-mechanical system) package. The result is a high intensity UV light system that offers an efficient, scalable, safe, long-life, and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional UV sources.

Solvent Inks
Inks whose carrier is an organic, usually volatile solvent.

Spectral Output
The radiant output of a lamp versus wavelength. It is displayed in a variety of ways, but commonly a graph or chart of output watts plotted against wavelength. The appearance of the plot will vary dramatically, depending on the wavelength resolution used.

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Thermal Inkjet (TIJ)
The Thermal Inkjet incorporates a heater located in the floor of an ink channel near the exit nozzle. A liquid-to-vapor-transition results in a volume expansion of the heated liquid.

Total UV Power
The sum of the UV energy emitted over the area of the emitting window.

(UV) light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nm to 400 nm, and energies from 3eV to 124 eV. It is so named because the spectrum consists of electromagnetic waves with frequencies higher than those that humans identify as the color violet.

Abbreviation for ultraviolet.

UV coating
Refers to surface treatments which are either cured by ultraviolet radiation, or protect the underlying material from its harmful effects.

Designations of UV wavelength ranges, originally for distinction of physiological effects of UV, and establishment of safe exposure limits. The generally accepted ranges are:
VUV: 100-200 nm
UVC: 200-280 nm
UVB: 280-315 nm
UVA: 315-400 nm
UVA is commonly referred to as long UV wavelengths, while UVC is considered short UV wavelengths.

UV Curable Inks
Inks which cure via treatment with ultraviolet light. These inks produce hard, durable images and are less media-sensitive than solvent or aqueous inks.

UV Curing
The polymerization of UV sensitive materials, rather than drying through the evaporation of solvents.

UV Lamp
Lamp which radiates UV light to cure the UV curable ink. The UV lamp can happen as an arc lamp or as an UV LED.

A UV LED (ultraviolet light emitting diode) is an electronic light source with electromagnetic radiation that has a wavelength shorter than that of visible light but longer than x-rays.

LED UV curing
Ultraviolet electronic light source that utilizes LEDs (light emitting diodes) used for drying inks, coatings, adhesives and other UV sensitive materials through polymerization instead of evaporation.

UV Printing
Printing with ink visible only under ultraviolet light.

UV Printing inks
Systems ready for energy UV curing, which are activated by UV radiation. They consist of pigments, a blend of liquid acrylic esters (binders, reactive diluents) or their prepolymers, and photoinitiatitors.

A fundamental descriptor of electromagnetic energy, including light. It is the distance between corresponding points of a propogated wave. It is the velocity of light divided by equivalent frequency of oscillation associated with a photon. UV wavelengths are currently measured in nanometers.

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