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Monday, 23 September 2019
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Raw materials & technologies, Technologies, UV/EB Coatings

Different variables affect crosslinking of inks by UV LEDs

Monday, 30 January 2012

A number of variables in the curing of two inks formulated for UV LED cure (black and cyan) were studied without use of inerting.

UV LED lamps are used in several radiation curing applications
Source: billyhoiler -  Fotolia.com

UV LED lamps are used in several radiation curing applications
Source: billyhoiler -  Fotolia.com

In recent years the output of UV LED lamps has increased considerably, so that they are now used in several radiation curing applications. Advantages include rapid switching or dimming, very high efficiencies and minimal heat output. However, the light source is almost monochromatic and the absence of shorter wavelengths means that photoinitiators must be chosen with care and it may be difficult to obtain surface cure without inerting. A number of variables in the curing of two inks formulated for UV LED cure (black and cyan) were studied without use of inerting. The inks had been formulated for curing by 395 nm LEDs. Units with only a slightly shorter wavelength (385 nm) gave more efficient curing whereas curing at 405 nm was much less efficient. Differences in cure speed of the two inks imply that photoinitiator content could be reduced in the cyan ink to match the cure speed of the black. A paper on this study will appear in the February issue of the EUROPEAN COATINGS JOURNAL.
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