UV LED curing is becoming a more popular option for plastic parts molders and decorators. It offers numerous curing, process control, operating and economic advantages.
For UV LED clear coatings, achieving a hard, scratch- and chemical-resistant surface cure without yellowing has long been the primary challenge. This is because the chemistry of conventional UV coatings relies on shorter wavelengths for sufficient cross-linking at the surface. Nevertheless, delivering the optimal irradiance and energy density, coupled with adjustments to the formulation, generally has been found to resolve surface cure and yellowing issues for LED-formulated graphics coatings.
The single biggest benefit related to plastic decoration is that UV LED curing systems result in less heat transfer to parts, substrates and machine components. This means less scrap, less part warpage and less wear and tear on material handling equipment, as well as more immediate post-cure part processing and the ability to use thinner walled parts and lower gauge substrates.
UV LED curing systems can be switched on and off instantly. The total number of starts and stops has zero impact on system life and performance.As a result, powering LED systems only when the line is running with parts moving further reduces heat transfer to sensitive plastic materials.
As both UV LED lamps and the chemistry continue to evolve in ways that make them even more compatible and versatile, LED technology will be a suitable alternative for all plastic decorating processes that currently use conventional mercury arc and microwave curing systems.
Post time: Sep-30-2022