UV wavelength LED lighting has a wide variety of industrial applications including the curing of inks, coatings, sealants, adhesives, and photopolymers. Early UV LED lighting was mainly used for industrial applications including dye inspection, Non-destructive Testing (NDT) inspection, and forensic examination. The output power of UV LED chips has improved significantly in the last decade. Curing with UV LED lighting has many benefits and is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to curing with conventional UV mercury lamps. UV LED curing units are environmentally friendly and have a much greater energy efficiency than traditional UV lamps. They also have significantly lower operating temperatures and longer operating lifetimes.
Prior to 2006, the output power of UV LED units on the market was much lower than what is available today. Early UV LED curing unit designs were small in profile and were mainly used for digital printing. These early units had relatively low total power output, and their low-power LED chips didn’t require significant heat dissipation during operation.
In 2006, Sunlite began manufacturing UV LED units used to cure adhesives. These units had a total output power ranging from 2 Watts to 100 Watts.
In 2012, industry ink manufacturers and UV curing systems manufacturers began working together on new printing technologies. The latest industry developments involve UV LED curing units used for screen printing technology.
In 2013, Sunlite developed its UVSR25 LED curing heads.
In 2014, our 2000W air-cooled UVSR25 LED curing heads reached an equivalent flux intensity of 6.6W/cm2, primarily used for high speed screen printing (~100ft/min). The UV LED module can be easily replaced on site.
Also in 2014, Sunlite made the first UV LED Screen Exposure Scanning Bar. Traditionally screen exposure are done in an exposure box with exposure time 10-15 seconds for photopolymer. Sunlite UV scanning bar can scan and cures a 23” of photopolymer coated screen in 4 seconds, and dual cure coated screen in 30 seconds. The scanning bar can be attached to a mechanical arm that can move the bar over a given surface.
In 2015, Sunlite developed its UVST80 water-cooled UV LED curing units used mainly for flexo and screen printing, and its UVST85 air-cooled UV LED curing units used mainly for digital printing.
Competitor’s LED curing units currently on the market were designed to build upon the basic designs of either:
- Curing units using traditional UV lamps
- Air-cooled UV LED curing units with low-power UV LED chips which do not require sophisticated heat dissipation design
Unfortunately, these UV LED designs do not provide the most efficient UV-energy output possible!
Sunlite has 20 years of experience manufacturing LED chips and high-power lighting products, giving us the technical expertise to customize LED product to offer its best potential for a targeted application. Sunlite designed air-cooled and water-cooled UV LED curing units that maximize the benefits of LED technology. Sunlite’s simple and compact UV LED curing unit design uses Sunlite’s patented, Application-Specific (AS-LED) modules. Sunlite’s units have fewer components than other UV LED curing systems, and they provide the highest energy efficiency and performance available today.