”UV-Led has gained higher acceptance“
How prevalent is UV-LED technology?
Frédéric Taché: Today, the perceived advantages of UV-LED, including increased productivity, higher quality and a more environmentally friendly technology, have enabled UV-LED curing to play a major, if not dominant, role in many UV-curing applications, as well as to convert traditional processes to UV. The most important fields in which the use of UV-LED technology has increased are wood coatings and printing inks – even to the extent that some lines are now “full” LED. More recently, the development and marketing of low-migration systems specifically developed for use with LED has led to greater acceptance across all sectors of the coatings and printing inks industry in the EU wherever indirect food contact is critical.
Charles Bourrousse, Graphic Arts Development Manager at Sartomer.
Charles Bourrousse: Moreover, the reduction in heat generated during curing has paved the way for the use of thin-film, heat-sensitive plastic substrates. This has facilitated rapid development in flexible packaging applications. Further progress in UV-LED will be based on the development of new wavelength lamps and/or better-adapted photoinitiator packages. As a key supplier to the UV industry, Sartomer continues to develop and recommend market-leading solutions for the highest surface cure performance.
What are the remaining challenges in UV-cure technology?
Bourrousse: Any technology will always spawn new technical challenges to maximize performance: adhesion, outdoor stability, durability, low migration … here we keep taking our range of UV-curable systems to the next level. New visual or sensory effects are also a key driver of future developments. We expect to see growing interest in a sustainable and compliant formulation approach from the market players, guided by influential brand owners’ recommendations.
Frédéric Taché, Industrial Coatings Market Manager at Sartomer
Taché: REACH compliance is also a key subject that we are addressing with our customers to ensure smooth continuity in the market.Finally, additive manufacturing is a major area of development today. Here were we are making the most of our know-how and experience in UV-cure technology by providing our customers with the highest-quality and highest-performance 3D printing solutions.
What are the latest developments in raw materials for UV-curable adhesives?
Taché: The electronics market is driving demand for new products in the field of UV-curable adhesives. UV curing is a key technology because it makes for a fast, clean process. High-performance, UV-cured adhesives will provide low-viscosity systems that are conducive to high barrier properties, optimal light transmission, low yellowing and good flexibility. This is the ideal solution for the light optically clear adhesives (LOCAs) used in all our smart-phones and tablets.
The book “Radiation Curing” has been written as reference guide who combines theory and practice for the daily work. It focuses on 100 % liquid coating systems that are radically or cationically curable by UV or electron beam radiation. Furthermore it offers guidance on how to select raw materials and features a troubleshooting chapter which provides concrete answers to possible problems.