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May 20, 2009
2 Min Read
The iCure AS200 provides localized curing for precision assembly applications without heating adjacent components.
IRphotonics (Hamden, CT), a designer and manufacturer of infrared-based materials and systems, has completed a successful field trial of its iCure AS200 infrared spot-curing system with ITF Labs, a developer of fiber-optic systems, high-powered components, and optical sensors. The trial was conducted using adhesive 353ND on an optoelectronics device, which required localized curing without heating adjacent components.Using infrared light to generate heat, the in-line fiber-optic system can deliver faster and stronger cures than traditional curing methods, according to the supplier. It is specifically designed for automated manufacturing processes that require rapid adhesive curing and localized heating of bonded assemblies. The system is both portable and can be integrated into a permanent production line, according to the supplier. "In addition, the in-line fiber-optic light guide allows the curing to be anywhere within the reach of the light guide and makes it very accessible to automation," says Isabelle Pilon, director of communications for IRphotonics.For ITF, the iCure system provided the control and flexibility necessary to apply the appropriate heat and duration to thermally cure its components. The company plans to incorporate the system into its optoelectronic assembly processes, according to ITF engineering director Alexandre Wetter.To provide localized curing, the iCure's lightguide directs light energy precisely where it is required, explains Pilon. Traditional curing methods, such as thermal ovens, cure with heat, but cannot be localized. The directional aspect of the iCure light allows for bonding and assembly without heating adjacent areas, such as heat-sensitive plastics or other heat-sensitive components. "This is particularly important for disposable medical devices in which microelectronics assemblies are joined to mechanical assemblies where the glued parts need to be brought to a curing temperature that is often beyond the mechanical limits of adjacent substrates," says Pilon.Featuring a 200-W lamp with a power density of up to 80 W/cm2, the system also can reduce curing time by up to 75% compared with traditional curing methods, according to the supplier. Compared with curing oven methods, which require cooling and venting rooms, the iCure can be used at a workstation or it can be fully automated by attaching the lightguide to a robotic arm. It also features a monitoring system that is designed to enhance the unit lamp's performance and extend its lifespan.In addition to precision assembly and bonding of semiconductor and other miniature components, the unit can be used for bonding and fixing plastic and glass components and lenses. It also can be used for microsoldering, localized heat welding of thermoplastics, and spot-curing of thermal epoxies.
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