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What Are UV Curing Systems?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 12 December 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Ultraviolet (UV) curing systems interact with sensitive coatings and inks to finish and seal them. Such coatings are used in activities like printing, packaging, and electronics manufacturing. Companies that use UV-sensitive materials need UV curing systems to finish their products and prepare them for release. Numerous manufacturers produce a range of equipment and it is also possible to design custom products for specific applications. These firms may also make coatings, including products specially designed to react to their systems.

Companies can install UV curing systems directly on an assembly line to cure products before the final packaging stages. They can also be implemented in standalone facilities. Small bench top units can be useful for research and similar activities where workers only need to process small batches of supplies at any given time. The equipment typically comes with a computer program to control it, allowing the operator to determine the precise specifications before activating the system.

Sources of ultraviolet light in UV curing systems can emit a range of wavelengths in the UV spectrum, and may be shielded to prevent injuries. Arrays of bulbs can be screened with gels for different applications, and the intensity can be adjusted. Some bulbs may remain off for low intensity, for example, or could cycle on at a lower setting. Self-contained systems include a conveyor to carry products through the equipment at the right speed to allow them to fully cure before emerging.

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Coatings designed for UV curing systems may be sprayed, painted, or dipped on. Before curing, they can be tacky to the touch, or may not provide the full range of necessary protection. When they are exposed to ultraviolent light, a chemical reaction occurs to harden and mature the coating. This can include things like clear protection coatings on electronics to prevent damage, as well as inks that need to withstand wet or harsh conditions. Most products are designed to cure rapidly so they take up limited space on the production floor.

Rental units may be available for testing as well as the production of specific products. These can also come with a service technician who can provide instruction and help a company set up its device. Companies interested in buying UV curing systems can meet with a representative to discuss the nature of their needs. They may want to consider issues like leaving room for product expansion, rather than purchasing a machine precisely tailored to their current needs.

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