Introducing Our New, UV LED System from AMS Spectral

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We’re excited to announce that our brand-new AMS Spectral UV LED cure system is now installed in our R&D lab! 

This machine can effectively cure flat and 3D surfaces with 100% UV curable and waterborne-UV curable coatings. This includes flooring, architectural moldings and millwork, doors, and window components. Each of these surfaces can be effectively cured entirely by UV LED or in a hybrid conventional/UV LED configuration. 

We sat down with Larry Van Iseghem, President/CEO, to learn more about this innovative new system and how it will benefit GreenLight Coatings customers. 

What types of projects can this machine handle?

Until recently, most UV LED usage has been focused on the printing industry, where LEDs can be in very close proximity to the surface to be cured. Other surfaces that are more profiled and complex in shape (such as 3D surfaces) have been more challenging and in need of very high power UV LED energy. 

With the new system, this level of energy is now available to us. We can now develop coatings for UV LED that can be applied to wood, metal, plastic, and other substrates that are not flat. Also, since heat is not transmitted to the substrate, heat-sensitive surfaces can be effectively coated and cured with UV curable systems.

Why has Van Technologies invested in this machine for GreenLight Coatings products? 

AMS Spectral is the recognized leader in UV LED curing equipment. It has some of the highest energy and highest efficiency systems in the market. We know that by working with AMS Spectral, we will remain a leader and preferred supplier of UV curable coatings with our GreenLight Coatings™ products.

How did the staff get trained?

The AMS Spectral installation team made the training process simple. The operation is fairly straightforward and there are a number of safeguards installed to prevent a circumvention of the operational sequence that could result in potential UV exposure to individuals using the UV LED system. It is truly safe and easy to use!

What benefits will existing customers see? 

We have discussed the potential of UV LED curable coatings with just about all of our customers and we continue to answer and support new inquiries more and more frequently. 

The wood market is one in which we have the greatest presence. We have systems that respond quite well in both clear and pigmented forms. Other market activity is seen in plastic substrates, as they tend to be less tolerant of the heat generated by conventional UV curing systems. The use of UV LED curing avoids heat generation and allows plastic and other heat sensitive substrates to be surface coated by UV curable coatings.

How does this machine work? 

Those familiar with conventional UV curing will adapt quite easily to this new system. Much of the operational process changes depend on the formulation of the UV curable coating being used. 

UV LED curable coatings require a different balance and/or blend of photoinitiators relative to the UV curable coatings used with conventional UV curing systems. Also, there are certain coatings that require higher UV intensity and energy density to achieve full cure, such as larger 3D profiles and shaped surfaces, certain metal coatings, and certain pigmented coatings. 

In these instances, UV LED curing can be supported by incorporating a conventional UV curing system in series during the cure of the UV coating. Wavelength of the emission of the UV LED system and that of the accompanying conventional UV system, when employed, is a factor to optimize depending on the application. These considerations are all effectively supported by our technical staff to make the transition as smooth as possible.

 The actual operation, using UV LED curing, is quite simple. Of course, the UV curable coating is applied to the target surface and cured by the UV LED system. In the event the UV curable coating is waterborne-UV curable in nature, it is first dried before it is cured. 

Using the system we have installed in our lab, a conveyor passes the coated component or substrate under the UV LED arrays where it cures instantly. We also employ other conventional UV curing systems when using coatings that require their supportive cure energy. The generalized schematic shown below summarizes the process(es).

Contact us today to learn if your application can take advantage of this state-of-the-art means of UV curing!

Phone: (888) 826-9484

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