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UV Powder Coating Process for MDF

2001 - The introduction of UV curable powder coatings in the late 90s expanded the use of powder coating from metal to heat sensitive materials such as medium density fiberboard (MDF). This paper addresses the advantages of UV powder coating and explains the process for MDF. Image courtesy of DVUV and Keyland Polymer.

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UV LED Overview Part I - Operation and Measurement

2010 - Part 1 of a 3 part series that consolidates key principles and technical information regarding the science and engineering behind UV LEDs. Part I addresses LED operation and measurement and includes information on (1) the p-n junction, (2) characteristics of UV LED output, and (3) challenges associated with measuring UV LED output.

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UV LED Overview Part II - Curing Systems

2010 - Part 2 of a 3 part series that consolidates key principles and technical information regarding the science and engineering behind UV LEDs. Part 2 focuses on integration of UV LED chips into curing systems and concludes with a series of questions intended to guide the reader as he/she compares UV LED systems and benchmarks them against conventional UV systems.

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UV LED Overview Part III - Diode Evolution and Manufacturing

2011 - Part 3 of a 3 part series that consolidates key principles and technical information regarding the science and engineering behind UV LEDs. Part 3 focuses on the history of LED development and diode manufacturing methods. It concludes with a series of questions intended to guide the reader as he/she compares UV LED systems and benchmarks them against conventional UV systems.

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Market Overview of UV LED Applications

2011 - In order to achieve a better understanding of when and why UV LED curing makes sense, it is helpful to survey the markets that are embracing the technology and evaluate the industry and application factors that are enabling successful installations as well as the processes that guided the evolution. Conversely, factors that hinder adoption and penetration in other markets provide notable insight regarding technical challenges that must yet be overcome.

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Pinning Inks with UV LEDs

2012 - The dimensional change of jetted ink droplets spreading, called dot or drop gain, can be a problem for digital printers. In a world where precise drop size and location determines print quality, drop gain tends to blur images and muddle colors with a loss of resolution, color integrity, and gloss control. It is a finicky problem, confounded by a lot of variables, but one that is helped by UV LEDs.

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Analyzing the Business Case for UV LED Curing Part I - Identifying Cash Flows 

2013 - Part 1 of a 3 part series that summarizes the process for conducting a financial comparison of a UV LED to a conventional UV purchase for both a new and retrofit press. Part I explains three common methods for evaluating and comparing financial investment opportunities including ROI, Payback, and Life Cycle Cost Analysis. It also identifies the cash flow components in a UV curing manufacturing process and explains where to get the data.

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Analyzing the Business Case for UV LED Curing Part II - Executing Calculations

2014 - Part 2 of a 3 part series that summarizes the process for conducting a financial comparison of a UV LED to a conventional UV purchase for both a new and retrofit press. Part 2 presents an actual case study and demonstrates the methods for executing ROI, Payback, and Life Cycle Cost Analysis calculations.

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Analyzing the Business Case for UV LED Curing Part III - Interpreting Results

2014 - Part 3 of a 3 part series that summarizes the process of conducting a financial comparison of a UV LED to a conventional UV purchase for both a new and retrofit press. Part 3 explains how to interpret the case study results from Part 2 and perform a sensitivity analysis.

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The Growing Viability of UV LED for Wide Web Applications

2016 - This paper explains the basics of UV curing including peak irradiance (Watts/cm2), energy density (Joules/cm2), and spectral wavelength (nm) as well as the fundamental differences between electrode, microwave, and UV LED curing systems. It also details the benefits of using UV LED technology, the trends driving its increasing adoption into a wide range of applications, and more importantly its growing viability in wide web applications.

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The Growing Viability of UV LED for Automotive and Transportation Applications

2017 - This paper explains the basics of UV curing including peak irradiance (Watts/cm2), energy density (Joules/cm2), spectral wavelength (nm), and total power (Watts) as well as the fundamental differences between electrode, microwave, and UV LED curing systems. It further highlights the benefits of using UV LED technology, the trends driving its adoption into an increasing range of production technologies, and more importantly its growing viability in automotive and transportation applications. PDF of paper courtesy of UV+EB Technology.

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Emerging Trends in Low Migration UV LED Laminating Adhesives for Flexible Packaging

2018 - As opportunities for food flexible packaging continue to move into the mid and narrow web space, lines are increasingly blurred around low migration and FDA compliance and how food safety impacts converters and their customers. This paper explores the use of UV LED technology as an advanced alternative to conventional film laminating methods and provides stakeholders throughout the value chain insight into the necessary steps around food safety and regulatory compliance.  PDF of paper courtesy of Converting Quarterly.

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Characterizing UV LED Curing Systems

2018 - Insufficient technical context often makes it challenging for interested users to efficiently navigate and apply new technology. For UV LED curing, unfamiliarity with what each device is actually delivering is still widespread and has led to a disproportionate focus on wavelength and peak irradiance with little attention to other critical aspects. This paper identifies the key characteristics of UV LED systems and explains the respective relevance to curing, application development, and process line set-up. 

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UV LED Flexographic Printing

2018 - One of the fastest growing markets for UV LED curing is flexographic printing. This paper provides insight into commercial UV LED ink, coating, and adhesive formulations; respective press line speeds; and industry trends. It also discusses the key factors contributing to successful press integration, operation, and maintenance as well as the value proposition driving UV LED adoption within the flexographic printing industry.

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The Lowdown on UV LED Energy Savings

2018 - Until the UV LED system is matched to the particular press needs, it is rather difficult to provide an accurate energy savings estimate that applies in all circumstances. Fortunately, once one knows the type of UV LED system required for a given press and application, it’s relatively easy to calculate energy consumption for comparison to the present drying technology. By arming oneself with specific questions to ask UV LED or press suppliers and knowing where to find the data on a supplier spec sheet, integrators and end users can collect the necessary information and quickly calculate the energy consumption and cost of operation themselves.

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Characterizing UV LED Curing Systems for Wide Web Applications

2018 - UV LED technology has proven successful in a wide range of industrial and printing applications including ones that were once thought impossible.  Source selection can be challenging as UV LED curing systems vary drastically from one another and are fundamentally different than medium pressure microwave and arc lamps. The optimal way to select a UV LED curing system is to understand what drives the differences in the products available on the market as well as what the intended application truly requires.  

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Taking the Cure - Jennifer Heathcote examines the growing role of UV LED curing in food-safe printing

2018 - From the perspective of packaging, food safety means the constructions, inks, coatings, adhesives, and other materials used to decorate and convert the final barrier assembly are safe and will not contaminate the internal contents in terms of odor, taste, and general toxicity. All the respective material handling processes employed must also not compromise the integrity of the packaged food item such that as long as the food is processed and packaged correctly, it remains safe for consumption over the intended product shelf-life. This paper discusses the beneficial role UV LED curing plays in the process as the packaging industry increasingly looks to UV curing. PDF of paper courtesy of Specialist Printing Worldwide.

 
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State of UV LED Curing Applications

2019 - The list of viable UV LED applications continues to grow as well as the number of system suppliers, formulators, and OEM machine builders supporting those applications. This paper provides insight into the growing UV LED market space as well as general guidance regarding how to match a UV LED curing system to the needs of a given application.   PDF of paper courtesy of UV+EB Technology.

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When it Comes to UV LED, Most Overlook the Big Ideas...

2019 - Big Ideas provide strategic frameworks that activate thought, foster challenges, push boundaries, and spearhead testing of inferences. This paper and slide deck identify Big Ideas for UV LED curing and provide insight into how Big Ideas should be employed to drive faster and more successful application development, adoption, and market penetration over the coming years.   

Coming Soon
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UV LED Curing for Plastics Decorating

2019 - An Ask the Expert Q&A provides insight into the use of UV LED curing for plastics decorating. The article discusses the benefits, challenges, and viability of UV LED for inks and coatings commonly employed in plastics manufacturing. The information is relevant for screen, digital, dry offset, pad, IML, IMD, and spray coatings used for both disposable and durable goods.  PDF of paper courtesy of Plastics Decorating.

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UV LED for IML, IMD & Plastics Decoration
Competing Today While Preparing for Tomorrow

2019 - Conventional mercury UV systems have long been used for curing graphic inks on offset printed IML films and screen printed IMD sheets and for curing scratch resistant hard coats on raw stock and decorated materials. As UV LED systems and UV LED formulated chemistry evolve to be suitable alternatives for exiting UV applications across various markets, the In-Mold supply chain is increasingly inquiring about UV LED technology for its own processes. Image courtesy of AMS Spectral.