By Olivia Cahoon
Part 3 of 3
Digitally printed applications with UV compatible ink, coatings, and adhesives are finished with a UV curing device. Manufacturers use UV and UV LED curing devices with flood or spot capabilities for bottles, electronics, labels and packaging, and signage. Curing systems are selected based on heat compatibility, size, substrate, and lamp life.
UV Curing Devices
American Ultraviolet released Cool Cure in January 2017. It is a spot UV LED curing device that requires no warmup time or replaceable consumables like bulbs or reflectors. “The LED is super powerful and has a use life of 15,000 hours,” says Meredith Stines, president/CEO, American Ultraviolet. Cool Cure’s speed depends on application but is usually between one to three seconds. It comes standard with 365 nanometer (nm) wavelength LEDs and is available for $3,995.
Dymax Corporation offers BlueWave 200 Version 3.0, a UV spot curing lamp with a patented intensity adjustment control. It is a high-intensity, light-curing spot lamp that emits energy in the UVA and visible portion of the spectrum. BlueWave 200 is intended for light curing adhesives, coatings, and encapsulants. It features an operator interface, 200 watt metal halide bulb, and LCD display.
Excelitas Technologies Corp. offers the OmniCure LX500, an ultra-compact UV LED spot curing system for repeatable curing. It is designed with proprietary Intelli-Lamp technology that monitors LED head temperature, lifetime data, and maintains optical stability. The system controller controls up to four UV LED spot curing heads simultaneously or independently at 365, 385, and 400 nm wavelengths. It’s available in two- or four-channel configurations.
GEW, Inc.’s ArcLED hybrid UV-curing system includes a traditional UV mercury arc lamp and LED array for interchangeable UV-curing. Both lamps are compatible with the same power supply and house unit. Users insert the cassette of choice and the ArcLED Rhino control automatically recognizes the cassette. The water-cooled UV LED lamp head is available in widths up to 60 centimeters wide and with 385, 395, and 405 nm wavelengths.
Honle UV America, Inc. offers JetCURE, developed for wide format inkjet printing. It features high-performance UV dryers up to 240 watts per centimeter for curing and enhanced printing quality. Units are equipped with dichroic reflectors for temperature-sensitive materials. JetCURE offers optional ozone-free Honle lamps with standard and special spectra. Available arc lengths range from 100 to 500 millimeters.
Oxytech Systems, Inc. manufactures portable and fixed UV-curing systems, infrared drying systems, and UV LED curing systems. The Oxytech UV curing system is adjustable up to 1,000 watts per inch and uses mercury and gallium doped lamps. According to Jack Karas, managing partner, Oxytech Systems, the system doesn’t need to run at all times, reduces power consumption, and features an instant-off control that replaces the mechanical shutters and reduces fire risk.
Updated in 2016, Phoseon Technology’s FireJet LED curing solution is a full-cure device designed for printing, coating, and industrial applications. It features a UV power air-cooled light array with 385, 395, or 405 nm wavelengths. FireJet’s newest version is equipped with Phoseon’s TargetCure and WhisperCool patented technologies. “TargetCure delivers precise, stable, and consistent curing while WhisperCool offers a low noise solution with increased UV output,” says Sara Jennings, senior technical marketing manager, Phoseon.
Tec Lighting’s WebCure UV-curing system uses mercury vapor lamps and features a Cool Option for high-heat sensitive substrates. A combination of dichroic filters, hot-mirrored quartz barrier glass, and the closed-loop auto damper heat management package allows the system to cure at low and high print speeds without using chill rolls. TEC Lighting also offers a selection of power supplies and operator control panels including the WebCure Series 3000, 4000, and 5000.
While UV printing offers durability, fast drying time, and specialty coatings, the process isn’t completed until the application is cured. UV-curing devices are offered in a variety of sizes to match application needs and offer thermal management and control circuitry. Currently, there is a great selection of UV curing devices.
Apr2018, Industrial Print Magazine