UV Sources





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Maintenance of UV Systems

Maintaining a UV system involves:

The time interval between checks, maintenance and preventative action will depend on your equipment, UV system, process and operating environment.

Work with your UV equipment manufacturer to establish a list of replacement parts to stock to handle the normal wear, tear and aging or the system. Become familiar with the system before it breaks or production stops. Have replacement lamps in stock.

Be sure to follow safety precautions to prevent accidents. Allow equipment to cool before handing. Lockout or tag-out the equipment/electrical supply when you are performing maintenance or repairing equipment.

The following items are some of the things that should be checked and maintained on a regular scheduled basis.

Clean Reflectors

Dirty Reflector

Stay away from anything that will damage the reflector’s surface. Measure the system with your radiometer, clean the reflectors, rotate the UV bulb if possible, reassemble the system and take another measurement, looking for improvement. The position and diameter of the bulb in the reflector, the shape and material of the reflector, distance to the substrate, pattern of light on the substrate (focused, non focused) and cooling mechanisms (air flow, water cooled, heat sinks) are all carefully evaluated when designing a system. It is important to maintain the systems as designed.

There is a tendency on some very wide UV systems for the middle of the UV lamp to sag slightly over time. This slight sag can alter the design and reflective geometries in the system. Less UV is delivered to the substrate when the UV lamp sags. The potential for lamps to sag is the reason to rotate the UV lamp when cleaning the reflector. On wide systems, it is important to measure in several places across the width of the conveyor. It is also important to measure and document if the UV drops off near the edge of the conveyor.

Each system manufacturer can tell you what types of lamps your system can use. Lamps are not always interchangeable and some older UV systems may not have a power supply ‘kicker’ to ignite additive (mercury-gallium, mercury-iron) lamps. Buy your UV lamps on value (stability, consistency, effective useful UV output over time) instead of the lowest dollar cost per unit.

Develop a preventative maintenance plan and log for each of your UV systems.

If there are problems: