Is LED the Future of UV Technology?

For many years UV technology has been a reliable method for the curing of photo-reactive chemicals. In response to increasing production speeds and new applications, e.g. in the feld of 3D, UV lamp technology has also developed. Today, a great variety of different systems are available, each specifc to the particular application.

Users and providers of chemistry are constantly developing new applications for UV curing. Their innovative ideas often mean increasing demands on UV curing devices – where sometimes conventional UV technology has reached its technical limits. Thus, within the recent years, a completely new branch of UV technology has developed: UV LEDs.



Medium-pressure Lamps

The operating technology of conventional UV lamps is based on plasma physics and optics, whereas UV LEDs are based on semiconductor technology and optics.

wavelength [nm] spectr 200 and 400 um between
ozone generation yes
thermal radiation yes
effectivity ca. 30 %
required space depends on application
operation warm-up phase
standby-mode (15-40%)
shutter needed
cooling air and/or water
typical lamp life 1.000 - 5.000 h
maintenance Easy control via UV measurement
device. During maintenance only
one irradiator needs to be
exchanged for one lamp system.
purchase costs low



A high-voltage arc between two electrodes leads to the vaporization of mercury and any optional doping within the lamp.A continuous UV spectrum between 200 nm and 450 nm is emitted.

LEDs are based on semiconductor technology. Specifc wavelengths are directly emitted by the current input. The spectrum is a quasi-monochromatic radiation in defned wavelengths, e.g. 365nm, 385nm or 405nm.

wavelength [nm] 365, 385, 395, 405
no short wavelengths
ozone generation no
thermal radiation no
effectivity 15 - 40%
required space low
operation no warm-up phase
instant switch-on and -off
no shutter needed
cooling water (rare: air)
typical lamp life > 20.000 hours*
maintenance Diffcult controlling of the particu
lar dies. In case of a break-down,
the complete module needs to be
purchase costs higher

Compared to conventional UV irradiators, it’s clear that LEDs can offer many advantages in a variety of coating applications. However there are some restrictions, governing or preventing the use of LEDs. The benefts of LED curing should be carefully considered, case by case.

Date:June 28, 2018  Category:FAQ
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