Many different kinds of plastic parts are decorated and coated with UV inks and coatings. Adhesion to plastic is notoriously difficult, so many UV curing lines incorporate some kind of surface treatment such as flame, plasma, or corona treatment, prior to application of the coating or ink. UV inks are typically applied via offset, pad or screen, with a print and UV cure station for each color. Multi-color UV ink-jet printing can be cured with a single cure station or multiple stations.
Lamps from Heraeus Noblelight America are the system of choice for decorating plastic parts because they offer the highest peak irradiance. They provide the fastest cure speeds for pigmented inks with the least amount of unwanted infrared heat which may damage the plastic part or cause plasticizers to bloom to the surface and inhibit adhesion.
Many plastic parts are three-dimensional, molded parts. Our F300S modular curing units are ideal for positioning strategically around the part to efficiently expose the part surface to UV. Polycarbonate headlamp lenses are a good example – typically, the part moves along a flat line conveyor, with multiple UV lamps mounted on adjustable brackets to allow positioning of lamps at different distances and angles to the part.
Retrofitting Heraeus Noblelight America's lamps into an existing line may be possible. For large process development or for small-parts or low-volume production, our LC6B and LC6E for Europe Bench Top Conveyors or floor-standing DRS 10/12 conveyor may be suitable.
Heraeus Noblelight America's custom engineered solution for Bibby Sterlin container decorating is a good example of one which is both low-cost and also offers future expansion capabilities.
For new, high production lines such as container decorating, automotive lenses, mobile phone parts or screen print decorating, we work with a variety of line integrators who specialize in the material handling, coating application and controls, and who incorporate our UV systems components into the line. Designing a line for UV is different from thermal designs, so the earlier the UV design team becomes involved, the better.
Contact us if you would like more information or have specific questions.