Optimize UV LEDs Used in UV Curing

Optimize UV LED Arrays For Efficiency and Performance

UV curing systems using UV LED arrays without an optical element frequently allow light rays to miss the curing surface. This wasted energy leads to increased operating costs. Conversely, an optimized system will direct the bulk of UV rays to the intended surface.

Kopp found that by introducing an optimized UV glass optic, the efficiency of a UV curing system can be improved. In our case study “The Effects of UV Glass Optics on UV LED Arrays,” we performed an optical simulation on both the commonly used fused quartz rod optic and a UV transmitting borosilicate Total Internal Reflection (TIR) optic.

The study demonstrates that compared to a UV LED array without an optic, both the rod and TIR optics increase peak irradiance and refract more energy toward the curing target surface. While both optic types have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, the results are clear in demonstrating that UV glass TIR optics are more efficient at capturing stray rays of light and increasing peak irradiance. By adding this optical element, you can control the collimation of the light beam and the irradiance pattern at the measurement surface, which results in a higher-performance UV LED curing system.

UV Curing

TIR Optic for UV Curing

Kopp Glass Engineer, Justine Galbraith, PhD, recently presented this investigation into LED array efficiency to industry professionals at the RadTech UV+EB Technology Conference in Rosemont, Illinois. The technical paper and companion presentation are now available for public download. We hope our research can assist in the successful optimization of UV LED curing systems.

Click here to download our study “The Effects of UV Glass Optics on UV LED Arrays.”

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About the Author
Sharayah Campbell

Sharayah Campbell As the Market Development Manager at Kopp Glass, Sharayah focuses on uncovering and developing growth opportunities involving emerging technologies. Sharayah’s role is unique; it allows her to collaborate directly with customers to understand their needs and then apply those insights to develop and execute marketing and sales strategies. Sharayah earned both her B.S. in Marketing and Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degrees from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Sharayah leads an active lifestyle; when not at work she can be found teaching spinning and boot camp classes or trying out new fitness classes and healthy restaurants around Pittsburgh.