RadLaunch 2021

Connecting Technology Start-Ups to UV+EB Industry Leaders

RadLaunch winners, our class of 2020

HARP (High-Area Rapid Printing), Azul 3D

This three-year-old startup spun out of Northwestern University and is creating a paradigm shift in the plastics manufacturing sector via a revolutionary 3D-printing technology called HARP (High-Area Rapid Printing). HARP enables record-breaking throughput in the field of stereolithographic printing, regardless of size, by using a mobile liquid interface (a fluorinated oil) to reduce the adhesive forces between the interface and the printed object formed from photo-responsive resins. The bed area is not size-restricted by thermal limitations because the flowing oil enables direct cooling across the entire print area. Importantly, HARP enables the use of both oxygen-sensitive and oxygen-insensitive photo-chemistries at rapid speeds (i.e., does not rely upon oxygen quenching). Resultantly, HARP broadens the scope of UV/EB technology for 3D printing beyond acrylates and methacrylates, being compatible with both photo-cationic and photo-acid initiated reaction mechanisms. Stemming from its industrial-grade photo-resins, HARP offers manufacturers the opportunity for higher throughput, limitless scale, and just-in-time mass production of diverse, customized, and complex products. Most recently, the technology was featured in an article in Science (Oct 2019) and has been featured in many news articles including in C&EN, Popular Mechanics, Economist, and Sciencemag.

Special IUVA student awards:

Innovative, Low-Cost, Water Purification Method by Leveraging the Synergetic Effect of UV and IR Radiation from the Sun, Sujay M. Swain, Montgomery Blair High School

Over one billion people in the world do not have access to clean drinking water. By using waste products, a low-cost water purification method to holistically purify water from physical, chemical and biological impurities was developed. Sugarcane bagasse was used to remove physical impurities and activated carbon synthesized from sugarcane juice was used to remove chemical impurities. Finally, by leveraging the synergetic effect of UVA and heat (from Sun), biological impurities were successfully removed. Resulting purified water met all the standards set by FDA. With the insight gained from this research, a portable water purification system using UVA LEDs is under development.

All-in-one (AIO) Solar-LED Purification Bottle for Every Home Use, Dana Pousty, Prof. Hadas Mamane, Water Research Center, School of Mechanical Engineering, Tel-Aviv University

The utilization of non-chemical disinfection systems for water treatment such as ultraviolet (UV) is increasing rapidly. Currently, the dominating systems are mercury-based low-pressure (LP) and medium-pressure (MP) lamps. These lamps are not optimal for point of use (POU) systems that are characterized by (a) intermittent or non-continuous water supplies, (b) need for off-the-grid applications, (c) release heat to the water and result in inorganic fouling, and (e) the high output power (MP lamps). UV light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs) overcome these drawbacks with adjustable wavelengths according to the need, long life-time, constant output and operate at ambient temperatures. Moreover, they hold compact and flexible structures that enable adapted design. The water-tech lab at Tel-Aviv University is developing a solar-based UV-LED-based optimized point-of-use water treatment solutions by combining various wavelengths. This will open a new field of portable point-of-use home applications.

Real-time feedback controlled monomer conversion: a new paradigm for UV curing process control, Eindhoven University of Technology’s High Tech Systems Center and TNO (Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

To prepare UV curing technology for the imminent fourth industrial revolution, PhD researcher Thomas Hafkamp from Eindhoven University of Technology proposes a new paradigm for UV curing process control. The proposal consists of acquiring in-situ measurement data of monomer conversion from a spectrometer and feeding this data into a real-time feedback controller. The feedback controller computes a corrective action for the UV light source if the monomer conversion momentarily deviates from the intended value. This innovation makes the UV curing process more robust to disturbances and may prove to be an indispensable solution for quality control.

Solvent-free radical photopolymerization that continues its extensive post-conversion in the dark, Team from University of Colorado

A new photoinitiating system with unprecedented photo-efficiency and extensive post-conversion in the dark has been developed at the University of Colorado by the team of Kangmin Kim, Jasmine Sinha, Charles Musgrave, and Jeff Stansbury. This innovation allows reduced light exposure times while guaranteeing complete polymerization, even in situations involving compromised light access due to nonuniform light sources, irregular surfaces, or thicker samples that might otherwise preclude a photocuring process. This discovery will further elevate the green technology to a new standard and increase the scope of photocuring technologies into new application areas.

Bio-based 1,5-Pentanediol: A New Renewable Monomer for the Radcure Industry, Pyran LLC

The vast majority of chemicals are made from nonrenewable and often expensive petroleum (oil) resources. Pyran co-founders Professor George Huber, Dr. Kevin Barnett, and Dr. Kefeng Huang set out to find a better way, and discovered a new pathway to make a chemical called 1,5-pentanediol (1,5-PDO) from renewable resources, such as corn cobs. Pyran’s technology allows them to make their renewable 1,5-PDO at 30-50% lower costs than similar oil-based chemicals! Pyran’s 1,5-PDO product is a major component in many ultraviolet (UV) cure coatings – which are more efficient and produce much lower amounts of harmful emissions compared to conventional coating technologies – offering consumers environmentally friendly products that won’t break the bank.

Special RadLaunch University award:

Novel UV-initiated Dual-curing thermoset materials suitable for 3D printing, Hamidreza Asemani, Professor Vijay Mannari; Coatings Research Institute, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, MI

While 3D-printing is fast emerging as a fascinating technology of the future, one major challenge faced by 3D-printed products is their sub-optimum performance due to poor inter-layer adhesion between multiple stacking up layers in their assembly. A team of Prof. Vijay Mannari and Ph.D. candidate Hamid Asemani at Eastern Michigan University has developed a very meticulous solution to this challenge. They have designed a 3D printing material that cures by two independent cure mechanisms – one providing rapid green strength development for faster processing while the second one allows for chemical bonding between the layers – thus significantly enhancing final product performance. The proposed system is enabled by UV-curing technology making it efficient and environmentally responsible.

RadLaunch winners, our class of 2019

SUNY Albany, SUNY Polytechnic Institute
UV+EB curable Sulfluor, a fluorinated hypervalent sulfur containing polymer cured thin film; extremely hard, thermally robust, and patterns well—may find utility protecting sensor windows, displays, optical fibers, composite material surfaces, electronic devices and other surfaces where scratch resistance, chemical stability and hydrophobicity is important.

Laval University (Quebec City, Quebec, Canada) within the Forestry Geomatic and Geography Faculty in the Wood and Forest Science Department
Enhances hardness of Canadian hardwood through impregnation of acrylate monomers and electron beam polymerization.

Building an open material partner network to power innovation in materials for end use and made through additive mass production. Origin’s production system uses programmable photopolymerization (P3) to turn materials into isotropic parts and products ready for end-use.

A new 3D printer for making the unimaginably small, enabling microfabrication level rapid prototyping for microsensors, wearable technology, IoT devices, micro-robotics, aerospace applications and more.

Ares Materials            
Pylux Polysulfide thermosets, a class of transparent, optically-clear polymeric materials that allow for tuning physical properties to produce materials which tackle multiple applications, specifically engineered for the fast-growing flexible display markets—smartphone makers, displays, and display-related fabrication equipment.

Daetec, LLC              
Protective encapsulant and sealing on-substrate, rapid cure for automotive assembly.  Polymer compositing with reactive diluents makes it possible to use CAD fed delivery tools that offer cure on-contact, with robotic operated equipment on vertical, overhead, or irregular surface contours.

RadLaunch winners, our class of 2018.

Trio Labs: Rapid UV 3D printing to create metal and ceramic parts with the same characteristics achieved through standard powder injection molding (PIM) processes.

Reboot Medical, Inc.: PhotoCast Casting Tape, light-cured composite tape that hardens on-demand, producing a rigid splint or cast.

Team from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: Nanocrystal photocatalysts which fill an unmet need for efficient water-soluble photoinitiators for coatings and 2&3D printing.

moi composites: for a new, patented process that merges the performances of thermosetting composite materials with the potentialities of Additive Manufacturing opening the world of advance composites to features today unimaginable.

The Foam Printing Project: Lightweight parts from resin that is foamed using a patent-pending process and solidified using a UV DLP 3D printer, parts have up to 75% gas fractions, are lighter weight and less expensive to produce.

Dynamic Matter LLC: UV curable thermosetting polymer that can be remolded, relax stress, or repurposed following polymerization for use in optical applications and composites to reduce shrinkage and environmental stresses.

Team from the University of Iowa: Transferrable Shadow Cure (TSC) decouples initiation and propagation mechanisms in cationic photopolymerization to address light penetration problems, thus providing full cure regardless of geometry, pigment and filler content, and sensitivity of material to light and heat.