Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have obtained a considerable market share in ordinary lighting technology. Although the use of LED technology requires a greater investment, this is far outweighed by its benefits – essentially energy savings and a long service life.
There is also great interest in LED technology in the sphere of radiation curing. In the course of well over 40 years, the UV lamp with its broad spectrum has become established in a great many spheres of application. The narrow LED spectrum means that these applications cannot be transferred 1:1. LED UV technology works in the spectral range between 365 nm and 405 nm. UV lamps, on the other hand, cure in a wavelength range up to 450 nm.
The task of radiation curing is clearly defined. At the end of the process chain there is a product which has to meet the customer’s requirements in terms of curing. In this process, both an LED and a UV lamp may be useful tools in satisfying these requirements with maximum efficiency. There is therefore no point in considering simply the electrical load of both systems.
Typical requirement profiles for successful integration are defined by the following factors:
The above-mentioned requirements suggest the use of light-emitting diodes in the inkjet process or for adhesive applications, for example. Another common example for the use of LED systems is commercial printing. Product properties and production speed have a high priority here.
In addition to the requirements on UV lamp or LED systems, there are technical differences. The most important features of each technology for industrial curing are outlined below.