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UV Curing Unit

Postby grieve » Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:46 pm

I am looking into delving into UV gloss coatings, and am looking for a cheap way to cure the UV ink. The problem is the it needs to be able to have a 12.5x19 inch drying area. Does anyone know of any good table top units? Has anybody made their own UV curing light? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: UV Curing Unit

Postby messabout » Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:19 pm

After you have used UV ink for a short while you will be hooked. UV inks solve all kinds of problems but bring a few new ones along with them.

There is no such thing as a cheap UV reactor. (they are called reactors) You can build your own but that will not be cheap either. UV lamps suitable for this purpose look like skinny tubes with little blobs of mercury possibly floating around inside. The tubes come in various lengths. You can get the tubes from several sources. You now need a transformer that will work in harmony with the tube. Additionally you need some really brutally big capacitors that are capable of operating at high voltage. You will also need a switching mechanism that is capable of operating within reactive circuits. Mercury relays are usually used for that purpose. When operating, these lamps create terrific heat, so you will need some cooling fans to regulate the temperature under the lamp. It is possible to use a reactor without a conveyor but it is a chancy thing to do. SO figure on having a conveyor that can stand some heat. and has an adjustable speed system. These machines use a lot of electrical power so be advised that you cannot just plug it into a convenient 120 Volt receptacle.

This equipment can be very dangerous inside the component campartment. A thousand volts or so is involved in driving the lamp. The capacitors themselves are capable of flattening you dead even after the power is removed from the circuit. The heat mentioned above is an external hazard that must be addressed. If a piece of printed stock gets stuck while traveling under the lamp, then a fire will start very soon. The UV lamp also creates ozone. You can smell it when the lamp starts up. You will need good ventilation in the print room where the reactor is located. Ozone is hazardous to your health when taken in continuous doses such as when you are working near the reactor. The first signs of human distress is nausea and headache if exposure is continuous the victim may loose consciousness. Adequate venting is therefore a must. All these problems can be overcome with good design and planning.

If you get a good UV system going you will wonder why you ever even considered drying racks and ink that takes time to dry. UV ink does not clog the screen. It will lay in the screen for hours without binding up the screen. You will usually use high mesh counts for this ink and that lets you print very fine detail. 120 line halftones no sweat. When your part exits the conveyor it is stackable. Curing time is lightning fast but the ink continues to harden for several hours after initial cure.
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Re: UV Curing Unit

Postby studiomiguel » Fri Aug 14, 2015 9:03 am

This is great info. It answered some questions I didn't even know I had! How much is a low end UG reactor?
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Re: UV Curing Unit

Postby joeprint45 » Wed Jul 05, 2017 12:59 pm

I have a Ultra Light system http://www.systauto.com/products/uv-cur ... escription.

It goes 200/300/400 WPI. Find out what your ink requires. Also, the UV is quite an investment and I am just using it for my high production goods where I need it packaged right after print.

It has to be worth the investment on spending money on lamps and energy usage/ventilation.
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