Light-based technologies continue to advance at an impressive speed. They’re being used in new and emerging applications where the ability to control light is critical for success.
Ultraviolet (UV) light is used to treat skin disorders, such as jaundice and eczema. In phototherapy applications, it's important to block dangerous UVC light so that it doesn't reach the patient. In contrast, UVC light can also be used to damage and kill pathogens. A growing number of hospitals use UV light disinfection devices or robots to combat hospital-acquired infections (HAIs).
In other light-based technologies, such as machine vision, filtered light is used to enhance automated manufacturing processes. Illumination with specific wavelengths of light improves imaging contrast, allowing the machine to sort information quickly and accurately.
Maximizing a UV LED’s peak irradiance is imperative in many UV curing applications. More power can improve production speeds and increase throughput. UV LEDs are often arranged into linear arrays, where they are placed side-by-side in a row, and are usually protected by a flat window or an optic.
We wondered, is there an opportunity to increase the peak irradiance of UV LED linear arrays? How can we maximize peak irradiance? Do all optics perform the same? Should you even use an optic? To find out what type of optic would maximize UV LED peak irradiance best, we simulated a UV LED linear array paired with three types of optics: whole quartz rods, half quartz rods, and a custom UV glass optic. In this article, we compare these different optical solutions and present the results of our study.
RadTech UV+EB 2016 exceeded expectations for many. Attendance was at an all-time high with more than 1,400 attendees, including many attendees new to RadTech. The UV-curable market is growing and attracting new people to the conference. Much of this growth is being fueled by interest in UV LEDs, which have opened new applications for UV curable inks and coatings.
Technical Program Highlights Growth of UV LED Adoption
For many, the technical program is the highlight of RadTech UV+EB. This year’s conference did not disappoint; the technical program was stacked with informative presentations on topics ranging from photoinitiators for UV LED curing to oligomers for 3D printing. More than 25 presentations were focused on UV LED technology.
The push to adopt UV LEDs is strong, and researchers are focused on developing solutions that will facilitate their adoption. One of the main barriers to widespread UV LED adoption is their incompatibility with existing photoinitiators. However, formulators are responding to the market’s demand and are developing new photoinitiators that are compatible with UV LEDs.
To help accelerate UV LED adoption within the UV curing market, we developed a new optical solution that utilizes LEDs of various UV wavelengths to produce a mixed, uniform light output.
Hg to UV LED Spectrum - Mixing Wavelengths
In this figure, the power output is not scaled and the plot is only used to represent the concept of using a UV glass optic to simulate the output of the Hg arc lamp by mixing wavelengths from different UV LEDs.
For decades, mercury (Hg) vapor lamps have been the most common light source used for UV curing applications. As UV LED technology improves, they’re increasingly replacing Hg lamps, and creating new opportunities for the UV curing market, as well as new challenges. Hg lamps produce a broad spectrum with multiple peaks, while UV LEDs produce a narrow spectrum with a single peak.
The difference in spectral distributions and therefore, irradiance and energy output between the two light sources is a critical hurdle to the full adoption of LEDs into the UV curing market.
Our new optic can be designed to create UV LED curing systems that produce a spectrum that mimics Hg lamps, or any other spectrum that is desired. We’re excited to share this new research and optical solution at the upcoming RadTech UV+EB Conference on May 15 through 18, in Chicago Illinois.
Differences in individual glass melting practices are driven by the scale and scope of the manufacturing, the glass composition needed, the downstream processes involved, and the ultimate product quality required. In this article, we’ll review two common glass manufacturing methods: continuous and batch melting.
As with any manufacturing process, glass melting can be broadly subdivided into batch and continuous processes. Both of these processes can be used to manufacture common glass compositions, such as borosilicate and soda lime silicate glasses. The best glass melting process for your product depends on many factors, such as volume, speed, flexibility in design, and costs. We’ll take a look at these two manufacturing processes, and discuss when each should be considered.