Loctite - Advances in LED Technology Aid Adhesive Curing

Reprinted courtesy Loctite & Henkel Corporation
Patrick J. Courtney, Engineering Manager, and Brian Noonan Application Engineer Henkel Corporation

Light Emitting Diode (LED) light sources offer many potential benefits over traditional light cure equipment, specifically longer life, lower operating costs and more flexible configurations. Until recently, LED light sources have not offered sufficient power to properly cure adhesives used in manufacturing operations. New developments in LED technology make it possible to produce devices with the output needed to meet this challenge.

How It Works

Typical light sources use electrical energy to heat a filament or excite materials into a plasma state, thereby generating light. With LED technology, light generation occurs when electrical current runs through a semiconductor. LED based light sources eliminate bulky, expensive bulbs , improve efficiency, require less energy to produce equivalent amounts of light, and generate less heat than traditional light sources. And whereas traditional light sources costs thousands of dollars plus associated bulb replacement costs, LEDs are now available for less than $1,000, with no bulb replacement required.

LED output is focused in a very narrow range of wavelengths when compared with other light sources (Figures 1 and 2). While the dental industry has used LED technology for years to cure composites, these light sources typically emit in the 450 to 470 nm range, too high for typical industrial assembly adhesives. The latest LEDs are available with output around 405 nm, a wavelength appropriate for a wide range of industrial adhesives...

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