So what might be next on the horizon in terms of emerging coating technologies? If UV-LED was a sign of things to come back in 2008, what harbinger will Drupa 2012 bring? Metcalf thinks it may be high-wavelength UV that is even more faster-acting and more energy-efficient than LED. “With high-wavelength UV, the UVA spectral range is skewed,” he explained (see factoid below). “It has a photo-initiation reaction that is higher on the [UV] color spectrum,” causing it to act faster.
AMS’s abbreviated name for this is HWU V. Komori, which launched its version of the curing system at the Ipex 2010 in the U.K. calls it H-UV. The technology uses a UV lamp and high-sensitivity UV ink. With just one lamp mounted in the delivery of a Lithrone sheetfed press, for example, H-UV offers high print quality and reliability as well as excellent economic and eco-friendly performance. The most cool thing about it, said Metcalf, is that “it’s compatible with existing UV light sources and uses the same class of inks as LED ink.”
The bottom-line impact is that fewer lamps are deployed for high-speed curing, making UV coating technology even more accessible to the print masses. H-UV, HWUV: Whichever acronym you choose, it’s sure to shake things up down the road.
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Ultraviolet (UV) light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light, but longer than X-rays, in the range 10 nanometers (nm) to 400 nm, and energies from 3 eV to 124 eV. It is named because the spectrum consists of electromagnetic waves with frequencies higher than those that humans identify as the color violet. The UVA range is wavelengths from 315 to 400 nanometers. Wavelengths from about 345 to 400 nm are used for “Blacklight” effects (causing many fluorescent objects to glow) and are usually very slightly visible if isolated from more visible wavelengths. Shorter UVA wavelengths, from 315 to 345 nm, are used for suntanning.