When it comes to equipment involved into application of adhesives, we divide it into two main groups:
- Dispensing equipment
- Curing equipment
Curing equipment works on different principles, depending on the type of adhesive you’re looking to cure. One of the most common cases are light curing adhesives which cure under the impact of either UV or visible light. Clearly, one could just leave the parts to the sun to take care of it, but that would take much longer than acceptable in any production process.
The most innovative of curing systems are LED based and satisfy both needs in one. They provide a specific spectral wavelength of i.e. 365, 375 or 405 nm. They consume a very low amount of electric energy. Well established light bulb systems, on the other hand, provide a broader emission spectrum i.e. 220-550 nm. This can be helpful if you need to cure a thick layer of adhesive where longer wavelength (VIS) need to go deeper into the layer. Radiation with a shorter wavelength (UV) will be absorbed at the top layer. Due to this principle you do not get a sun-burn behind a closed window. UV radiation is absorbed and you just feel warm because of the longer infrared wavelength.
The systems vary in terms of area coverage from hand held, spot, line array, to flood systems covering large areas where less precision and more coverage is needed. Nowadays, they come with improved power levels, portability, service life and are optimised for curing an extensive line of adhesives in continuous use (see more in the two example product description sheets.
There are various options of setting up the curing equipment and related accessories to best fit specific needs of a given application, so it’s best to always consult an expert before making any decisions.