If you have questions and they aren’t answered in this FAQ or you need more information, you can ask us by phone or e-mail. We will attend you with pleasure.
- What is ultraviolet radiation?
- What is UV curing?
- Cautions when working with ultraviolet radiation
- What is an UV lamp? How it works?
- Useful life of a UV lamp. Why change it when it is still in perfect condition?
- How should I replace the UV lamp?
- Possible causes of insufficient cure ⇒
- UV lamp maintenance and handling tips ⇒
If you need technical assistance, spare parts… Contact us referring your machine and its serial number. You can find this information in the operator’s manual and the identification plate in the electric cabinet.
Machinery and devices manufactured by BCB have a warranty year (from the delivery date) against all manufacture or working defects. Warranty not includes the damages produced by a wrong use or lack in maintenance.
The components that are not made by us, will enjoy the guarantee granted by the manufacturer.
What is ultraviolet radiation?
UV light or ultraviolet radiation is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum below the visible light, with wavelenghts from 180 nm to 400 nanometers. It’s classifies in three ranges according their effects: UV-A, UV-B and UV-C:
UVA – From 320 nm to 400 nm, where visible lights begins. This radiation is capable of penetrating any substrate (paper, inks, coatings..) and in used frequently in the industry in deep curing processes. Our skin has developed UVA ‘control mechanisms’, and therefore is not very harmful if the doses are not superior to, for example, a normal exposure to sunlight. But we must remember that this radiation ages the skin.
UVB – Is defined as the radiation between 280 and 320 nm. In spite of having a major energy than UVA, it does not penetrate so deeply, but it produces curing faster. Our skin is not well protected against the UVB radiation due to the fact that only a small quantity comes to us across the ozone layer. The radiation UVB ‘burn’.
UVC – This is the section between 200 and 280 nm. This is a high-energy radiation that falls as soon as collides against any surface. Therefore in the industry is used to cure surfaces. Life on earth has no protection against UVC and therefore is highly dangerous. However, as a result, is widely used in germicidal applications effectively removing bacteria and viruses.
What is the UV curing?
UV curing is the process of polymerization of materials by exposure to ultraviolet radiation. The traditional drying is evaporation of moisture or solvents by oxidation, they are practically absent in the UV, so the more accurate definition would be ‘UV radiation curing’. In spite of the foregoing, the term ‘ultraviolet drying’ is a universally accepted term in the technical world.
Precautions working with ultraviolet radiation
The advantages of UV curing processes (speed, high gloss, hardness, absence of solvents, etc.), as well as any industrial process, can only be used taking into account the use of appropriate precautions to ensure a healthy and safe work.
As a basic premise we must start with the fact that UV radiation has high eritemal effect (ability to blush and/or burn the skin). A prolonged exposure can have a cumulative effect on the cellular DNA, for that, is MANDATORY avoid looking directly at any ultraviolet emitter active, even for short duration to UV radiation.
What is an UV lamp? How it works?
An UV lamp consists of a quartz bulb doped with a gas (usually mercury, iron or gallium), with an electrode at each end with ceramic or metal holders.
The electrodes describe to each other an electric arc that generates light once the gas is ionized. This arc defines the useful curing width of said lamp.
Useful life of a UV lamp. Why change it when it is still in good condition?
The duration and use depends of its doping and manufacture. We advice a good cleaning and maintenance of the equipment and ventilation system to ensure its life and prevent premature aging.
Uv lamps have a constant wear that is increased exponentially once it reaches the recommended duration. Depending how is working this lamp, its duration will last more or less, influencing the conditions of the environment such as temperature, pollution, etc.
How should I replace the UV lamp?
This process may vary depending on the machine. See the operating manual of your equipment. Due to some components are harmful to the environment, exhausted or broken lamps should be disposed according to current regulations in your area.
How does UV light affect microorganisms?
The bacteria, virus, fungi… (see organisms) are vulnerable to the effects of the ultraviolet light (UV-C): In the wavelengths next to 253,7 nanometers, the UV acts as germicide spoiling the genetic material (DNA) of these microorganisms, incapacitating them for its reproduction and infection.
These microbes are, in big number causers or propagators of diseases and illness, as: Allergies, flu, gastroenteritis, salmonelosis…
The use of efective systems of germicidal radiation reverberates directly in the quality of life of the people, there where they could develop germs; and it is necessary in places where the sterilization of the work environment is obligatory. For example: laboratories, hospitals, manipulation of food, medicines…
What means infrared?
Infrared or IR radiation, like ultraviolet or visible light, is a portion of electromagnetic radiation, ranging from 700 nanometers (above visible light) to 10,000. This is classified into several divisions depending on its wavelength : short, medium or long wave.
Infrared drying is the use of infrared light to dry inks or coatings in an industrial process. It consists of evaporating the water of these materials by means of the heat emitted by the IR emitters.
The irradiation on the material can be momentary or prolonged in time, taking into account aspects such as the distance from the emitters to the material, the speed of passage of the material (in the case of production lines) and the desired temperature.
With a view to the application of one or another wavelength within infrared radiation, the choice is basically due to the thickness of the material to be irradiated. If it is a material with a thickness of a few millimeters, the most advisable thing is to use infrared emitters of short wave, while if the material has a greater thickness the best option is to use infrared emitters of medium or even long wave.
Another aspect that is taken into account when using infrared emitters is thermal inertia. The shortwave emitters have virtually no thermal inertia, that is, at the moment they are connected to the electric current they are already in their optimal working conditions. On the other hand, medium wave and especially long wave emitters have a lot of thermal inertia and can take up to 4 minutes to be used effectively.