UV curing of photopolymerizable formulations has been used for more than a half century for protective and decorative coatings of paper, wood, metals or plastics. Advantages can for sure been found in the high curing speed that allows the conversion of typically (meth)acrylate-based monomers within the fraction of a second. Furthermore, a large variety of monomers is commercially available so that the mechanical properties and other polymer characteristics can be easily tuned. One of the key component is the photoinitiator that absorbs light and transfers it to chemical energy by starting the radical polymerization process.
Beside classical coating, this technique is currently also considered for other more advanced applications such as dental filling materials, optical materials, biocompatible and biodegradable polymers or additive manufacturing technologies