Specially formulated inks, lacquers and adhesives are cured by either ultraviolet light (UV) or an electron beam (EB). Often the technique is used for printing or coating paper, plastics and wood. UV-light or electron beam curing coating materials do not contain solvents which can escape into the atmosphere. For the curing-process no drying with combustible energy or infrared light is necessary, and thus energy is saved. The surface is fully cured immediately after leaving the dryer.
Radiation curing means the rapid transformation of liquids which consist entirely of monomers or oligomers into strong polymers through the action of UV- or EB radiation. Through radiation free radicals are generated which initiate the polymerisation. These radicals are strongly inhibited by oxygen, which brings considerable advantages, e.g. a further energy saving, reduced lacquer costs and an increased process speed. In order to achieve this, inerting of the curing-layer is required.