Energy curable technologies are finding new applications, and the advantages of UV and EB curing can enhance product performance and improve efficiency and production costs. uv.eb East 2013, held Oct. 1-2 in Syracuse, NY, showcased some of the latest technologies being offered in the energy curing market.
uv.eb East 2013 was organized by RadTech North America, and the sessions, most notably the UV LED presentations, were standing room only. In addition the conference also examined Industrial Finishing and BioBased Solutions.
“The UV LED session was excellent,” said Dr. Don Duncan of Wikoff Color, who serves as RadTech’s president. “It was standing room only. The talks were great, with lots of good questions, and the partnership with SUNY has been excellent.”
“We are excited,” said RadTech executive director Gary Cohen. “There is so much support for these emerging technologies at uv.eb East 2013.”
UV LED was featured in two sessions. The morning included talks by Robert F. Karlicek Jr. of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who discussed “The Evolution of UV LEDs: A Review of the Technology, Device Trends and Future Possibilities.” Craig Moe, Crystal IS, covered “UV-C Light Emitting Diodes for Water Purification and Instrumentation.” Beth Rundlett, DSM, analyzed “Developing UV LED Coatings,” and Jim Raymont, EIT, closed the morning session with “Measurement of UV LEDs: Establishing, Monitoring, Maintaining and Troubleshooting a Process Window.”
Industrial Finishing was the topic of the second morning session, beginning with Larry Van Iseghem, Van Technologies, Inc., who discussed “UV Curable Direct to Metal Coatings.”
“The liquid coating process is the displacement of one fluid on a surface with another,” Van Iseghem said. “Most metallic surfaces are not comprised of the elemental metal, but are the metal oxide. You need to prepare the metal surface by reducing the surface tension below that of the surface contaminant, allowing the coating to be applied to contain adhesion promoters.”
Van Iseghem noted that UV has great potential.
“UV technology provides the opportunity to do remarkable things,” Van Iseghem added. “The number of applications that UV can’t be used on is very few.”
Jason Eich, Red Spot, followed with “Performance and Design Solutions with UV + PVD,” and Kevin Joesel, Heraeus Noblelight Fusion UV Inc. discussed “UV Curing of 3D Parts - Methodology & Examples.”
During the afternoon UV LED session, Jennifer Heathcote, Integration Technology, covered “Economics of UV LED Curing in Production – General Comments & Case Study.” Ms. Heathcote was followed by Michael Beck, Phoseon Technology, who discussed “Emerging Applications for UV LED Technology.”
“UV LED is rapidly gaining acceptance, and the market is moving very fast,” Mr. Beck said. “UV LED is seeing lots of opportunities in important markets such as wood coatings, where the driver is that UV LED curing has a lot less hat being generated. Another emerging application is display manufacturing for cell phones, OLED TVs and touch screens. We are doing a lot of business in that field. Our technology is a great fit, as we offer more consistency and less heat.
“Medical applications are also emerging,” Mr. Beck added. “On the printing side, flexo is brand new. Mark Andy and Flint Group are working on UV LED flexo inks, as is Siegwerk. The real selling point is more productivity. UV LED is faster than standard UV and offers better curing, and material suppliers are providing broad support.”
Mike Idacavage, PL Industries, followed with “The Basics of UV LED Photoinitiators,” and Greg Palm, Mark Andy, closed the UV LED afternoon session with “UV LED – Real Life Label and Packaging Experiences.”
BioBased Solutions was the focus of the second afternoon session. Dr. Joshua Lensbouer, Armstrong Floor Products, began the session with his talk on Biobased Materials for UV Coatings,” with an emphasis on bio-acrylic acid and bio-methacrylic acid.
“The hurdles facing bio-materials are the starting materials, technology, infrastructure and emotional or political support,” Dr. Lensbouer said.
Among the starting materials are cellulose, produced from cotton, and Dr. Lensbouer noted there are 1 billion tons produced annually. Seed oil, another starting material, provides triglycerides, and sugars can also be used. The technology used to convert bio-materials include e.coli, fungi and yeasts that ferment the starting materials. The U.S. and Brazil are two key bio-material producers, but the U.S. has the infrastructure to transport the materials. Emotional support can be seen in the use of ethanol rather than butanol.
“The driver for bio-acrylic and bio-methacrylic acid production is price, price, price,” Dr. Lensbouer concluded. “The price has to be less than current products while containing large enough margins to recover the investment.”
“Use of Innate Biological Processes for Responsible Material Production” was the topic for Greg Tudryn of Ecovative. Ecovative manufactures packaging made of a crop feedstock and mushroom tissue, which grow into specially-designed cases; one example is the packaging for Dell computers.
“Styrofoam is used for about a week then ends up in a landfill,” Mr. Tudryn said. “Ecovative uses fungi to make bio-resins - they are natural recyclers. Mushroom roots, or mycelium, are strong. We begin with a feedstock, and innoculate it with tissue and put it into cases. The feedstocks include wastes from hazelnuts, buckwheat, oats, cotton or rice. The fungi grows into the shape, and we dry it, deactivating the fungi. These renewable wastes are used to make a product, and then become renewable wastes afterward.”
Anthony Carignano of Allnex followed with his talk on “Mitigating Chemicals of Concern Through the Usage of Novel Energy Curable Acrylate Technology.”
“Glucitol-based bio-renewable di-functional aliphatic polyester chemistry, or GDA, offers a very good balance between performance and cost,” Mr. Carignano said. “It has wide compatibility with oligomers and monomers currently used in UV and EB applications. It is BPA-free and is produced in volume, used primarily in medical and food applications.”
The Oct. 2 session covered UV/EB Enabling Innovation & Advanced Applications, beginning with introductory remarks from Randy Wolken of Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) and Peter Douglas of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).
“Today, 75% of the workforce have to be skilled workers, and New York State has a highly skilled workforce,” Mr. Wolken observed. “There is a U.S. manufacturing renaissance. We are on the cusp of a major manufacturing boom in the U.S.. The U.S. will be the low cost producer in the world, due to our low cost of energy, high productivity, quality control, short supply lines and protective IP.”
Mr. Douglas discussed the work being conducted by NYSERDA to grow business in New York State.
“One of the major initiatives of NYSERDA is technical market development program, which assists new technology from research institutes and start-ups,” Mr. Douglas said. “For every $1 that we spend, we see a corresponding $7 in New York State’s macroeconomy. We will soon offer a $2 million grant to promote UV/EB technology in New York State.”
Shannon Marks of Made Boards analyzed “Beyond the Spectrum - The Future of Additive Manufacturing,” and how it pertains to his company, which manufactures surf boards, kite boards, sailing boards and paddle boards.
“Additive manufacturing is currently focused on R&D and prototyping,” Mr. Marks said. “We need to take risks and head into production. Customization is expected in the consumer-driven world. We manufacture surf boards, kite boards, sailing boards and paddle boards using additive processes, eliminating polystyrene, which is produced using a subtractive process, and only uses 20% of the material and the rest is waste.”
“We are working on printed sensors for our SmartBoard,” Mr. Marks added. “We will be also to tell weather, bio-metrics, and how the board and the user are performing. From click-to-print, to final production takes five to seven days.”
“Three Things EB Can Accomplish That You Didn’t Think Were Possible” was the topic of a presentation by Karl Swanson, PCT Engineered Systems,” while Michael Sponsler, Syracuse University, offered his insights into “Improving Properties of Materials Patterned on the Micron Scale.”
Denis Cormier, RIT, examined “3D Printing With Photonically Cured Electronics,” and Mike Wyrostek, Hampford Research, covered “The Use of Reversible Inhibition in the Dual Photo- and Thermal Cure of Epoxy Resins.” Mr., Karlicek then closed the session with “UV LED Summit: Roadmapping Session.”
For more information on energy curing, contact RadTech at www.radtech.org or through email at email@example.com.