Easy integration - UV LED heads are quite compact and have low weight. Water cooled units are plumbed externally and air-cooled units are also available. LEDs are instant on/off and require no shutters or venting and no external reflectors or optics. Due to the small size of LEDs, they can be easily adapted to any form factor, such as 360 degree exposure for in-situ pipe curing or fiber coating curing. The mini-modules can be packaged to any linear length as well.
No infrared heating - Because there is no IR radiation from UV LEDs, it is considered a cold light source making it ideal for any heat sensitive material such as thin polymers, medical devices, etc.
As with any new disruptive technology, a few considerations also need to be taken into account. Although the initial capital costs are higher, the return on investment can be substantial.
The single wavelength of UV LEDs requires photo-initiators with an absorption matching to the light source. Nevertheless, the formulators have acknowledged that UV LEDs are the source of choice going forward and have released products optimized for UV LED activation. Lastly, commercially reliable UV LEDs are currently limited to a minimum wavelength of 365 nm and as such not viable for ultra-short wavelength applications. However, forecasts show that by the middle of the decade suitable LEDs will be available for applications such as medical and disinfection.
Heraeus Noblelight has been involved in UV applications for over 100 years having invented the first UV lamp. Customers profit from this competence and know-how in developing and manufacturing UV lamps, components and UV-LED systems. The newly formed “Optoelectronics” business division of Heraeus Noblelight is building on this knowledge to provide high performance UV LED solutions for curing applications.