The curing characteristics of an ultraviolet (UV) ink layer are of utmost importance for the development of UV inks. Measuring either bulk or bottom cure in itself is not new and has been the subject of many articles. In this article, two methods are described based on Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectrometry to measure in real time and simultaneously the bulk and bottom cure of a thin UV ink layer. The procedure consists of applying a thin (10–12 µm) layer of UV-curing ink on an attenuated total reflection (ATR) crystal. The bottom cure is measured with ATR. The bulk cure is measured simultaneously with a reflection analysis (method 1) or a transmission analysis (method 2). With both methods, the bulk and bottom cure can be determined. To overcome problems with the interference in the ATR reflection setup, it is recommended to use the ATR transmission setup.
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