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Curing with UV LED's

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UV LED Technology is arriving as the new approach for the curing of UV inks, coatings and adhesives. UV Process Supply has recently introduced the UV LED Cure-All. This lamp is powered by a UV LED array that is instant on/instant off, emits no heat and has a lamp life of over 50,000 hours.

1. The design and engineering of UV LED curing systems

a. The structural makeup of a UV LED

i. Makeup of UV LED's

1. AlN (Aluminum Nitride)

2. GaN (Gallium Nitride)

3. InGaN

4. AlGaN

5. AlInGaN

6. AlInGaN/InGaN

7. Organic LED

ii. LED array options

1. Wafer size

a. 50mm

b. 100mm

2. Flip chip vs. Mounted chip

3. Geometry

iii. Electrical specifications

iv. Light transmittance/ spectral output graphs

1. Wavelength variance

a. Upper range: 415nm, 400nm, 390nm

b. Lower range: 385nm, 370nm, 365nm, 350nm

2. Intensity variance

b. How to assemble arrays for large scale curing systems

i. Electrical requirements

ii. Back-end heat dissipation techniques

iii. Light uniformity management

c. Wavelength Optimization

i. Mixture of chip/spectral output architecture

ii. Curing responsiveness to mixed output

iii. Curing effectiveness of intensity vs. wavelength

2. UV LED technology vs. conventional UV curing

a. UV LED benefits

i. Very low voltage requirements/electrical


ii. 100% efficient in wavelength output

iii. No front-end heat generated, therefore no cooling


iv. Instant on and off capability

b. Applications that benefit

c. Speed and effectiveness

3. Associated curing considerations

a. Improve cure rate/effectiveness via materials

i. Matching chemistry to lamp

ii. Designing lamp geometry for curing

iii. Secondary cure lamps

b. Improve cure rate/effectiveness via techniques

i. Inert gas inclusion

ii. Pulsed light

iii. Modified intensity

4. Industrial applications that this technology has been (and can be) applied to

5. What the future holds for this technology

This technology, while in its infancy, shows great promise to revolutionize the methods and effectiveness of UV curing. The very nature and size of the UV LED allows for increased flexibility, scalability and market reach. The limits of current UV curing can and will be expanded by these and other innovations.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2003

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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