What is UV Curing In Pad Printing?
Ultraviolet curing (commonly known as UV curing) is a photochemical process in which high-intensity ultraviolet light
is used to instantly cure or “dry” inks, coatings or adhesives. Offering many advantages over traditional drying
methods, UV curing has been shown to increase production speed, reduce reject rates, improve scratch and solvent
resistance, and facilitate superior bonding.
Who Uses UV Curing?
Since it was originally introduced in the 1960's, UV curing has been widely adopted in many industries including
automotive, telecommunications, electronics, graphic arts, converting and metal, glass and plastic decorating. UV
curing is a multi-billion dollar worldwide industry, and now constitutes approximately 4% of the industrial coatings
market. UV curing has grown more than 10% per year, displacing conventional water and solvent-based thermal
drying processes due to its increased productivity, improvement of product quality and performance, and
environmentally friendly characteristics.
A Quick Explanation of the Science Behind UV Curing
Using light instead of heat, the UV curing process is based on a photochemical reaction. Liquid monomers and
oligomers are mixed with a small percent of photo initiators, and then exposed to UV energy. In a few seconds, the
products - inks, coatings or adhesives instantly harden.
UV curable pad print inks and coatings were first used as a better alternative to solvent-based products. Conventional heat
and air-drying works by solvent evaporation. This process shrinks the initial application of coatings by more than 50%
and creates environmental pollutants. In UV curing, there is no solvent to evaporate, no environmental pollutants, no
loss of coating thickness, and no loss of volume. This results in higher productivity in less time, with a reduction in
waste, energy use and pollutant emissions.
Look What UV Curing Can Do For You
UV curing offers manufacturers many benefits. Below you’ll find additional information on some of the most
- Inks, coatings, and adhesives with dramatically improved physical properties.
- Faster production speeds and capacity
- Reduction of Work-in-process
- Dramatically reduced set-up/clean-up labor
- Environmentally Friendly, Energy savings, no emissions controls
- Less floor space needed
- Increase yield and reduce scrap