Can UV LED Curing Improve Manufacturing Curing Processes?

Views: 25     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-02-10      Origin: Site

Manufacturers need consistent and innovative production processes to deliver high-quality products to their consumers. Industries strive for continuous advancements and improvement in technology to streamline their production processes. Thus, UV  LED curing was adopted, providing an innovative approach to the curing process that improves the overall manufacturing of products.

Since UV LED curing lamps entered the mainstream market 20 years ago, there have been innovative advances in LED technology. UV technology is no longer an upcoming solution, but an enabling approach used in various industries. 


Understanding UV LED curing


UV curing is a common manufacturing process whereby Ultraviolet lights are utilized to power a photochemical reaction that causes a polymerization reaction. Once the UV energy is absorbed, it generates crosslinking networks between polymers turning liquid ink, adhesives, or coating into solids.

This process is more convenient, efficient, and cost-effective than heat curing. Additionally, it's faster as UV energy allows the curing process to take place in mere seconds.

UV LED curing process involves using Light Emitting Diode technology to emit ultraviolet energy for curing processes. UV LED lamps work between 365nm,385nm, 395nm to 405nm spectral range. UV LED curing is currently used in various industries, including printing, decorating, coating, assembly of various products, and stereolithography.

This technology was adopted to resolve heat-set drying and conventional UV curing issues. Before LED lamps were discovered, manufacturers relied on mercury arc lamps to initiate the curing process, which proved expensive and not eco-friendly. The introduction of LED UV curing became a breath of fresh air.

A lot is expected and yet to be discovered on LED technology in the curing process. But most manufacturers are concerned with whether UV LED curing improves the manufacturing process. Read on to find out.


Can UV LED Curing Improve Manufacturing Curing Processes?


The simple answer is yes, it can. What we have seen so far from UV LED curing systems are promising enough to ensure it's the best solution as we advance. However, a lot is yet to be uncovered on LED technology and its benefits to the curing process. Below are some of the best ways UV LED curing can improve the curing process:


Increase in production 


Unlike existing UV curing processes, LED curing technology offers greater uptime because of its long-life run time combined with its instant on or off capability. A long lifetime with instant power on/off translates to increased yields to meet consumer needs.

Conventional mercury arc bulbs degrade over time and take a while to power on and off, which decreases the production rate.


Improves efficiency of the curing process


About 20 % of the energy emitted by a mercury lamp is radiated in UV form, and approximately 50 % of energy is radiated as infrared light. This seems like a waste as a lot of energy is expelled, but only 20 percent of it is used. This can cause other problems since the more energy expelled, the more heat is generated, which can damage sensitive substrates. 

The excess heat generated also limits manufacturers' flexibility to use different materials. Additionally, the lamp degrades with time, decreasing output and leading to inconsistent curing. On the other hand, UV LED curing systems provide a uniform and deep curing process that's both durable and flexible with various materials.

LEDs produce more consistent outcomes by evenly dispersing light over the curing area. LED systems will give greater uniform intensity over time because their deterioration curve is substantially more resilient than mercury bulbs.


A sustainable solution, both economically and environmentally.


The world is finding new ways to sustain our environment by practicing greener ways, and solutions to everyday activities and manufacturing processes are no exception. The world is growing ever more concerned about the use of mercury by regulating its use in various manufacturing processes. UV LED curing provides manufacturers with an environmentally sustainable solution to curing since it does not have toxic mercury deposits.

Conventional mercury bulbs generate harmful gases that require bulky systems and equipment to expel the toxic mercury waste. UV LED systems don't generate harmful gaseous but actually, decrease CO2 emission by about 50% less than mercury systems.

Mercury systems require regular management and replacement of bulbs. They also use a lot of energy to power and run them, which can be costly to your budget if not properly organized. Alternatively, LED systems use a fraction of the energy used by mercury lamps and are longer lasting, which can be cost-friendly to your wallet, allowing you to focus your funding on other production areas.


Space savings


LED-curing technology is usually compact compared to broad-spectrum equipment. The extra space saved can be used for other purposes like storage and improving your manufacturing process. Conventional curing methods require bulky systems that take up chunks of space. 




UV LED curing technology has been adopted by many industries because of various advantages, as discussed above, to improve manufacturing processes. Manufacturers have turned to UV LED technology as a solution to challenges faced by conventional processes, and sure as day, it has not failed them.

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