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Techniques of Optimizing the UV Ink Jet Curing Process

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UV Ink Jet is rapidly gaining applications and uses in industrial markets requiring print-on-demand, variable information, and short-run graphics on an increasing variety of substrates. The performance properties of UV-cured materials are substantially affected by the lamp systems that are used to cure them. The development of the intended physical properties of a UV-cured ink can depend on how well these lamp factors are designed and managed, and how well the UV exposure is designed for the specific printer and print head arrangement. A number of variables of a lamp system, which can be designed or selected to produce the most efficient result, are discussed. Ink design, in terms of spectral absorbance and “optical thickness,” is fundamental to this relationship. The four key factors of UV exposure are: UV irradiance (or intensity), spectral distribution (wavelengths) of UV, total UV energy, and infra-red radiation. UV inks will exhibit very different response to peak irradiance or energy, and to different UV spectra. The ability to identify the various lamp characteristics and match them to the optical properties of the curable material, widens the range in which UV curing is a more efficient production process.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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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