Announcing the Radiation Curing Program

The Radiation Curing Program (RCP) suite of courses is a key program component supported, in part, by a U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration H-1B Technical Skills Training Grant, Enhancing American Jobs and Global Competitiveness: A Collaborative Initiative in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing (Dr. C. Spuches, PI; Drs. Mark Driscoll, Jennifer Smith and Thomas Amidon, Co-PIs). RCP courses reflect the efforts of a team comprised of pertinent academic, educational and industry-based leaders.

We have developed these courses in order to serve those who are currently engaged in radiation and other professionals and aspiring professionals who wish to pursue a documented graduate-level professional development in this area.

Sustainable radiation curing, including ultraviolet (UV) and electron beam (EB) technology, refers to an efficient way in which coatings, inks, paints, adhesives, composites, and other materials are cured almost instantly instead of using traditional materials and methods that are time consuming and require large amounts of energy. In effect, either ultraviolet light or focused electron beams interact with specially formulated chemistries to cure materials in less time, at lower cost, and with greater energy efficiency, and a significant reduction in emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) than traditional methods. These technologies are an integral component of multiple economic sectors, and thus impact numerous and varied occupations and organizations

Radiation curing processes (ultraviolet light and electron beam), an innovative high-growth field in this advanced manufacturing sector, currently represents a $1 billion/year industry in North America. While this important and growing field is transforming the advanced manufacturing and technical industries, specialized training is drastically limited – until now!

Given the importance and growth of this sector, along with its positive and important environmental relationship, RCP will equip you to fill and/or to advance in roles in this field. RCP serves participants entering the UV/EB field and serves as a valuable opportunity for mid-career professional development and renewal for individuals with considerable experience in this field. 

The convenient and affordably-priced online approach entails instructional presentations, synchronous and asynchronous interaction, directed readings, and related learning activities.

You may register for one or more courses simultaneously. Typically, depending upon your background and experience, you will be best served by beginning with Introduction to Polymer Coatings.

Introduction to Polymer Coatings
BPE 510 / 3 credits / May 13 – July 26, 2013 / Online
Fundamental science of polymerization and film formation for a wide class of organic coatings, including acrylics, latexes, polyesters, amino resins, epoxies, alkyds, and silicon derivatives as well as the integration of appropriate binders and additives affecting coating quality. Reaction chemistries and their distinguishing characteristics for several cross-linking agents. Reaction kinetics are considered with emphasis on the influence of conditions during synthesis. Various organic coatings are compared based on desired mechanical and optical properties along with specific applications. The nature of defects and the resulting effect on product lifetime of coatings are examined.
Prerequisite(s):  B.S. from an accredited institution with at least one semester of organic chemistry or permission of instructor.

Radiation Curing of Polymer Technologies
BPE 536 / 3 credits/ May 13 – July 26, 2013 / Online
Broad treatment of development and use of radiation curing of polymer technologies as they apply to industry-related roles such as chemists, engineers, technicians, and managers. Properties and development of free-radical and cationic systems initiated by various radiation sources. Chemical and physical underpinnings of common radiation curable materials and mechanisms. Analysis techniques that monitor the cure reaction and the properties of cured material. Emphasis on the considerations and challenges in common applications of radiation curable polymer systems and associated costs, regulatory, and safety considerations.
Prerequisite(s):  B.S. from an accredited institution with at least one semester of organic chemistry or permission of instructor.

Radiation Curing Equipment, Instrumentation and Safety
BPE 511 / 3 credits/ June 3 – July 31, 2013 / Online
Technologies used for commercial radiation curing for energy-efficient and environmentally-responsible curing of resins, inks, coatings and adhesives pertinent to industry chemists, engineers, technicians, and managers. Ultraviolet radiation (UV), electron beam (EB), radio frequency (RF) and Infrared (IR) generating systems, along with ancillary equipment used to quantify energy deposition. Basic equipment functions, interaction of radiation sources with specific substrates and chemistries, benefits and drawbacks of each technology, and safety and handling considerations. Emphasis is placed on effectively selecting and justifying equipment appropriate for specific applications.
Prerequisite(s):  B.S. from an accredited institution with at least one semester of organic chemistry or permission of instructor.

RCP is designed for you if you are currently employed in radiation curing and related work and seek to upgrade pertinent knowledge and skills, or if you are seeking professional preparation for the radiation curing industries.  RCP introduces and strengthens your knowledge and skills related to radiation curing technologies and their applications.  You will learn a theory-based framework to appropriately formulate resin systems that align with selected radiation curing technologies and their applications. 

For more information on the Radiation Curing Program including how to register for one or more of these courses, visit

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