The most important fields in which the use of UV-LED technology has increased are wood coatings and printing inks. We spoke to Frédéric Taché and Charles Bourrousse of Sartomer about the current state of the art in UV-LED technology and UV-curable adhesives.
How prevalent is UV-LED technology?
Frédéric Taché: Today, the perceived advantages of UV-LED, including increased productivity, higher quality and a more environmentally friendly technology, have enabled UV-LED curing to play a major, if not dominant, role in many UV-curing applications, as well as to convert traditional processes to UV. The most important fields in which the use of UV-LED technology has increased are wood coatings and printing inks – even to the extent that some lines are now "full” LED. More recently, the development and marketing of low-migration systems specifically developed for use with LED has led to greater acceptance across all sectors of the coatings and printing inks industry in the EU wherever indirect food contact is critical.
Charles Bourrousse: Moreover, the reduction in heat generated during curing has paved the way for the use of thin-film, heat-sensitive plastic substrates. This has facilitated rapid development in flexible packaging applications. Further progress in UV-LED will be based on the development of new wavelength lamps and/or better-adapted photoinitiator packages. As a key supplier to the UV industry, Sartomer continues to develop and recommend market-leading solutions for the highest surface cure performance.