The power, cost and capability of UV LED curing systems have improved to the point where they are now a viable alternative to traditional mercury-vapor lamps in several applications including printing, 3D printing, coatings and adhesives. This post will provide an overview of some of the advantages of UV LED curing systems over traditional technologies.
UV LED Curing Systems Lifetime
Perhaps the most well-known advantage of UV LED Curing systems over traditional technologies is that of lifetime. UV LEDs have an expected lifetime of 20,000 hours. The lifetime of traditional technologies such as mercury lamps can vary greatly but typically ranges from 500 to 2,000 hours. This relatively short time results in increased downtime and operational costs with traditional technologies.
Mercury lamps emit some of their energy as infrared light. In traditional lamps only 20% of energy is emitted as UV. This can cause surface areas to be cured that were not intended to be cured and over-curing of some surfaces. Mercury lamps operate at very high temperatures which can damage heat sensitive substrates. This may restrict the materials used when operating mercury lamps. In addition, in traditional systems the output of the lamp changes as the bulb ages. This can result in inconsistent curing. With LED systems, all the light emitted is ultraviolet, the light does not generate heat so is a “cold cure” technology and the LED curing lamp intensity can be controlled to ensure consistent output over the lifetime of the lamp.
ProPhotonix has designed its UV LED curing systems to enable users to monitor and drive each individual LED segment. This ensures excellent intensity control over each segment. With the ability to control the intensity, ProPhotonix maintains uniformity across the lamp. The design also allows ProPhotonix to set the lamp to a specified intensity for the customer to ensure the lamp works to the customers’ specifications.
Compared to traditional technologies, UV LED systems offer many advantages. For more information on the advantages of UV LED curing systems