UV Sources





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Equipment Overview

This is a brief discussion on UV generation, UV equipment basics and the common elements that are found in most UV systems. It is only a brief overview. Equipment installation, maintenance, handling, and application methods for applying UV chemistries are not discussed in this section. UV equipment needs to be matched to your application equipment and the process. Individual equipment manufacturers and formulators should be consulted for specific product information and compatibility.

UV Generation
UV energy is generated via different methods. Each method has its own features and benefits.

Arc Systems
An arc lamp consists of a quartz envelope with an electrode in each end. Each electrode is connected via a wire to the power supply, and when power is applied, an arc is formed between the two electrodes, which in turn vaporize the plasma in the lamp. Based on the fill in the lamp, specific wavelengths of UV radiant energy are produced and emitted.

Microwave Systems
A microwave-powered lamp is an “electrodeless” quartz envelope where a magnetron connected to the power supply generates microwave energy to vaporize the plasma in the lamp, which emits UV energy.

Spot Source
A UV Spot Source produces UV energy that is focused into a relatively small area or “spot”. The output is directed to the cure surface via liquid or fiber light guides.

A pulsed light source will generate an electrical on-off frequency resulting in a rapid “flashing” on and off of the lamp.

There is no one ‘best' generation method-it must be matched to your process, equipment and application. The end result is the generation of one or more wavelengths of UV. The irradiance of the UV generated and the dwell or exposure time of the material must match the defined process parameters.