Ultraviolet Advantages

  • Perfect for use on heat sensitive materials
  • Environmentally friendly; no solvents
  • Fast processes in seconds, not minutes
  • Compact foot print compared to thermal processes
  • Low energy consumption

 

Background

Ultraviolet technology was first introduced in the 1960's as a new curing process for inks. UV technology offers a fast and environmental friendly process for the curing of coatings and adhesives. UV applications can be found in almost all industrial segments including automotive, materials fabrication, electronics, and graphic arts. You can even see UV used in waste water treatment. Today's industry has embraced UV technology for its ability to increase productivity while improving product quality and performance over traditional thermal heating technologies. UV is considered more energy efficient than all of the thermal heating technologies.

 

How Ultraviolet Works

The UV curing process uses light energy instead of a thermal heat process to convert UV chemistry based coatings and adhesives from a liquid or semi-liquid into a solid cured state. The converting process is a photochemical reaction that takes place when photo-initiators in the coating start a chemical reaction, changing the molecular structure of the coating from the liquid state to form a solid. One benefit from this type of conversion process is there is no loss in the volume or thickness of the coating. All of this can happen in seconds depending on the application.

In addition to the UV chemistry, an understanding of how UV energy is generated is important. For the majority of industrial processes, two types of UV systems are in general use: arc generated and microwave powered. (There are other UV emitting sources available using LED and Fluorescent. These are not discussed here.) 

  • Arc lamps: mercury vapor arc lamps are clear quartz vacuum sealed lamps with electrodes located at the ends. When power is applied to the lamp ends, the voltage between the electrodes creates a plasma stream which emits UV energy. 
  • Microwave-powered lamps: these lamps are also made of clear quartz and are vacuum sealed but with no electrodes at the ends. Often called electrode-less emitters, they are similar to mercury vapor lamps, but with an important distinction. Microwave energy is used to generate the light-emitting plasma stream.

The TACs can demonstrate all aspects of UV technologies from flat line processes to 3-D applications. In addition to the technology demonstration, the TAC staff can assist you in evaluating this technology for your process.


Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Ultraviolet oven for sample testing.

Microwave generated ultraviolet lamp.

Six lamp 3-D ultraviolet for full scale testing.

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