Kyocera Corporation has developed a new air-cooled UV-LED curing light (the Kyocera G5A Series) that it’s characterizing not only as the world’s most powerful, but also as the world’s smallest. The new light is ideal for use in industrial ultraviolet (UV) ink printing applications – including billboard printing – as well as UV-cured coating and adhesive processes. Kyocera’s added that its proprietary technology has resulted in the world’s highest UV intensity (24W/cm2) among air-cooled curing lights for UV printing. “This product sets a new industry standard by offering the highest performance in a package that’s also both the world’s lightest and smallest – at about half the size of a conventional air-cooled UV curing light offering high UV intensity,” the OEM said.
Background. UV printing is a printing method that uses ultraviolet light to cure ink immediately as it’s printed, thus allowing for printing on a wide variety of non-paper media, including plastic sheets. In addition to its convenience, this printing method is more environmentally friendly, using energy-efficient LED lights. The G5A Series incorporates Kyocera’s proprietary ceramic substrate with excellent heat conductivity in a heat-radiating modular design, which allows LED elements to be mounted at an exceptionally high density. Since it employs an integrated air-cooling system that eliminates the need for supplemental liquid cooling equipment, it can help reduce total equipment costs while saving space. Furthermore, its scalable structure allows users to adjust irradiation width, enabling full design optimization to suit a wide range of applications and print media.
Development. New applications keep emerging for UV printing based on long-lasting, energy-efficient LEDs as a curing source. According to Yole Developpement (a global research company based in France), the UV curing market is expected to expand to approximately $300 million (USD) by 2019. Demand for high-speed UV printing is rising – especially among wide-format inkjet billboard-printing applications, coating applications and adhesive applications. Design requirements increasingly specify an air-cooled UV light with high output for higher productivity.
Main features include:
World’s highest UV intensity among air-cooled UV curing lights. Using Kyocera’s ceramic substrate, with its excellent heat conductivity, and a heat-radiating design incorporating a heatsink, Kyocera’s G5A system provides the world’s highest UV intensity (24W/cm2) among air-cooled UV-LED curing lights, said the OEM. In addition, it can achieve 350mJ/cm2 (50m/min) of accumulated light – an important indicator of curing performance – thus enabling high-speed curing.
World’s smallest. The G5A Series requires less space, and is the industry’s most lightweight system, as it utilizes its own air-cooling technology with no additional equipment (whereas conventional water-cooled LED lamps require circulating water cooling equipment such as a chiller). Accordingly, the air-cooled UV-LED curing light reduces initial equipment investment costs. The world’s smallest size (80.3×88.0×150.5 mm) and lightest weight (950g) contribute to space savings for the overall system.
Connectable structure offers scalable irradiation width. Connecting the units can support diverse applications and media – from fine characters, figures and barcodes, to printing on large-scale building materials. The irradiation width can be controlled from 80mm to 1,600mm, in addition to permitting unnecessary light sections to be turned off in 26.5mm increments via serial communications (allowing the system to focus on the printed area).
Monitoring system optimizes performance. A monitoring system allows users to track irradiation conditions, including LED temperature and current, fan operating time and accumulated irradiation time, via serial communications. The system notifies the user when it’s time to replace filters, or if abnormalities are detected, thus ensuring more stable operation and optimal performance.