In recent years, UV LED based lamps have begun to replace mercury lamps for a wide range of UV curing applications. With this trend expected to continue, this white paper explains the advantages of LED technology and how it compares to traditional technologies for curing of inks, coatings and adhesives.
LED technology is fundamentally a more compact technology than traditional UV lamps enabling much more flexible form factors. The compactness of LED systems, along with the fact that shuttering and air extraction systems are no longer necessary results in a much smaller footprint for the UV curing system.
Mercury lamps emit only 20 percent of energy as UV light. Some of the remaining energy is emitted as infrared light. This can cause surface areas to be cured that were not intended to be cured and over-curing of some surfaces. In addition, mercury lamps operate at very high temperatures which can damage heat sensitive substrates. This may restrict the materials used when operating mercury lamps.
An LED-based system can offer superior control and stability of output while providing reduced downtime, long lifetimes, and low costs of ownership.