Light is all over. But how does it assist in gluing together? In this article, we discuss industrial UV curing and some of its benefits and applications.
What is curing?
Curing is a chemical process in which an adhesive plus its substrate hardens and toughens into a cross-linked product. The process can get accelerated and initiated through the use of light. Varying ones need different activation energy for the curing process. UV curing adhesives are started by ultraviolet radiation, heat-cured by infrared radiation, and so on.
What is UV curing?
UV curing is one of the most common types of light curing. That is because of the high energy and instantaneous curing effect at risk and low cost. Also, Its resins can tolerate overexposure from one hundred percent to five hundred percent without degradation.
Some ways to increase light intensity include adding another UV lamp onto the production line and reducing the gap between the substrate and the light.
The curing speed of UV light results in shorter cycle times, reduced labor costs for the manufacturer. And better lead times. UV curing is also relatively effortlessly to manage, only needing simple UV-curing dispensing equipment.
Also, there is no need for mixing. And this bypasses any potential issues that come with the same. The technology is also environmentally friendly. That is because no harmful chemicals get used during its process. And that minimizes the disposal and regulatory costs for the manufacturer.
High UV light, however, can cause harm to your body’s functions and skin. Therefore, sufficient precautions should get taken when dealing with UV equipment.
Other benefits of UV curing include:
- In-tune high-quality process
UV treatment offers a consistent process with immediate drying reducing shrinkage of the original application. That results in a high gloss durable coating in less than a minute. Using chemical coatings does not provide a consistent process since it allows for shrinkage. With UV curing, a continuous filter gets used. And this results in a quality part.
- Available for treatment on 3D parts
With skilled engineers and designers, developing a custom-built system allows you to produce consistent 3D parts for effective results. The lamps can get installed either horizontally or vertically with equal efficiency. And this provides total coverage to critical areas on 3D elements.
With a varying range of connectors, the creation of custom fittings that match your equipment becomes effortless.
- Increased profits
Having a UV treatment system helps to yield numerous profits for your business. That is because it facilitates reduced time, less scrap, faster curing times, and less work in progress. Also, there is a reduction in energy usage, labor, waste, time, and pollutants.
The glass industry is amongst those that benefit from UV curing technology. For instance, UV curable ink can be used in printing intricate designs on glassware items, which would be impossible with other printing techniques.
The process also allows for multiple inks to get printed at the same time. And at high speeds using hazardous heavy metals. An example of this on drink bottles.
Wooden manufacturers can employ UV curing to come up with scratch-resistant, stain-resistant, easy-cleaning, and anti-slip surfaces. Since wooden surfaces are temperature sensitive, certain levels of UV can get used to offering the needed energy to cure. And this does not result in any damages.
Metal manufactures can employ UV curing to come up with protective and decorative coatings. Some examples include beverage cans, identification tags, and pipes.
Also, UV curing of metals can be used in additive manufacturing 3D printing.
Plastic product manufacturers mostly use UV curing to come up with aesthetically pleasing and scratch-resistant outer coatings. That includes mobile phone casing, exterior components, and the making of the automotive interior.
Choosing an industrial UV curing system provider
- Solution provider VS system integrator
UV LED curing system providers fall into two categories, a UV curing solution provider who makes the curing system through their UV LED curing equipment. And a system integrator who purchases the same from a third party.
Choose the former since they have the ability, financial and technical backing for their products.
Before choosing a UV LED provider, consider the number of years they have been in this industry. The more their working experience, the better the product. With experience comes expertise. And the ideal company has all the expertise it requires to produce the best products in the market.
- UV curing capabilities
When choosing an industrial UV curing company, you want to consider one with the capabilities to convert applications and run pilot lines, lab testing, and in-plant trials with ease. When done correctly, UV lighting minimizes the risks during start-ups and helps to ensure ROI and production rates meet the set expectations.
- After-sale support
Before purchasing an industrial UV curing system, you want to ensure that the provider offers outstanding customer support to his clients. They should show utmost concern for their clients. And be responsive to any inquiries at any time.
Even during the feasibility stage, it is crucial to think about the support you might need after. Figure out whether you will require staff training, consignment spare parts, maintenance services, troubleshooting support, etc.
If you have many plants, ensure that your industrial UV curing system partner can support your needs no matter the location. Even as your operations and production change, consider the services you will need. And how expensive and time-consuming it might be to adapt to the UV curing requirements.
- Licensing and certifications
Before choosing an industrial UV curing partner, you also want to ensure that they are licensed and certified to carry out their operations. With that, you get assured of high-quality products suitable for all your project needs.
Finally, before settling for an industrial UV provider, you want to consider their reviews. Be sure to check out their social media platforms and other reliable pages on what varying clients think about the products.
You want to work with an industrial UV provider with a good name in the market. And one whose aim is to deliver exceptional products to its clients.