Heraeus Noblelight is a leading manufacturer of special light sources and closely cooperates with system manufacturers and final customers to develop customer-optimised solutions for industrial processes. When Heraeus invented the quartz glass mercury lamp in 1904, the foundation was laid for the production of special UV emitters. Today, even printing and curing applications can benefit from the use of innovative UV-LED light sources.
The LED or solid-state lighting technology is an efficient future technology. LEDs can be switched on and off without delay to follow the process cycles and they only consume energy when they are operated. An essential advantage becomes obvious: The service life of the LEDs is equal to the time they are actually used. This makes the UV LED light source very efficient and economic in cycled operation. The advantages are longer servicing intervals and reduced cost of maintenance in addition to a reduction of production downtimes.
In a fully equipped in-house development and manufacturing line, Heraeus processes LED chips using the chip-on-board technology and measures and tests them in its own accredited measuring laboratory. "Our development engineers are specialised in the development of application-specific and customer-oriented LED solutions and tailor the design precisely to the respective machine environment", says Mr Harald Maiweg, head of the optoelectronics division within the special light sources business division of Heraeus.
NobleCure - the first series-production UV LED solution
The latest development for innovative curing applications in printing is NobleCure, a modular LED unit in the near UV range. It comprises all peripheral components such as cooling, control and power supply. These components are optimally tuned to each other to optimise the service life of the light source.
At a wavelength of 395 nm, NobleCure has an irradiance of at least 4 watts per square centimetre. As the area of the emission window is almost 40 square centimetres, the resulting total output is about 200 watts. This effective radiation capacity is supported by the use of state-of-the-art micro-lens technology. The lenses enable the shaping of the beam that increases the uncoupling efficiency of the UV LED system by more than 50%. Irradiance remains relatively stable and drops just slightly even at different distances to the material to be cured. Therefore, NobleCure can be used at different working distances to the substrate without the need to retool the system. Its compact dimensions (95 mm wide, 64 mm high, 77 mm deep) make the NobleCure suitable in particular for all drying and curing systems that are subject to space saving requirements. It can be implemented in the wavelength range of 365 to 405 nm and can thus be used also for various adhesive curing and digital printing applications.