Sometimes, cured UV adhesives or coatings have a tacky or sticky surface, even after they are exposed to the correct amount of UV light to achieve full cure. If the surface of the adhesive is exposed to atmospheric oxygen during the cure, the oxygen can penetrate into the very top layer and inhibit the polymerisation process. This is called “oxygen inhibition”.

Oxygen inhibition isn’t always a problem, for example if you are curing the adhesive interfacially. If the bondline is exposed, you might find the tacky surface to be undesirable.

oxygen inhibition

So what can you do to prevent oxygen inhibition with UV and light curing adhesives? Our Technical Bulletin, UV Curing and Tack-Free Cures, explains the phenomenon and provides some recommendations for achieving a tack-free cure.