Surface UV Germicidal Applications
Germicidal UVC lamps disinfect surfaces without chemicals, which is critical in some industries. In food processing, for example, UVC can kill viruses, bacteria, yeast, and fungi in seconds, eliminating the need to use harmful chemicals on surfaces that come in contact with food.
UVC technology is indispensable in locations where human health is contingent on a sterile environment, such as hospitals and surgical centers. During prolonged surgical procedures, for example, UVC can be used to minimize infection.
UV technology will also continue to grow in applications for low pressure UV curing and medium pressure UV curing.
Through the process known as food irradiation, our germicidal UVC lamps are used in the food industry to prolong shelf life, preserve nutritional value, and reduce health hazards by sterilizing pathogens. Germicidal UVC technology is a safe and cost-effective method that allows for compliance with strict local codes and FDA safety regulations.
Germicidal UVC food irradiation uses short wave UVC light to kill germs on packaging materials, working surfaces and some foodstuffs. The dairy and bread industries, for example, have seen excellent performance in using our future-oriented technology to extend shelf life and freshness.
Working closely with OEMs of food processing equipment, our engineers can customize germicidal lamp systems to meet specific application needs.
Germicidal lights can be used to treat food for an array of purposes:
- To prevent potatoes, onions and garlic from sprouting
- To prevent mold and mildew from forming on liquid-sugar tanks
- To control insects that infests grains, dried fruit, vegetables or nuts.
- To slow the process of ripening and aging
- To prolong shelf life and freshness, especially for dairy and bread products
- To prevent food-borne illness, especially from meat, poultry and seafood
- To reduce the number of microorganisms in spices and herbs
Germicidal UVC Water Disinfection for Food and Beverage Industry
Germicidal UVC technology successfully destroys pathogenic microorganisms in water used in the production of drinks without altering the taste, smell or pH.
Other water treated by germicidal UVC include rinse water for fruits, veggies, meats, seafood, other foodstuffs and containers, cooling water, discharge water and process water. Once disinfected, process water can be recycled for flushing and rinsing.
Germicidal UVC technology has tremendous growth potential for the beverage industry, especially for the bottled water market. This market continues to expand as bottled water consumption increases. Growing concerns with chemical and pharmaceutical waste entering our waste water treatment facilities make bottled water an attractive alternative.
Sterilization of Non-Foodstuff Surfaces
Germicidal UVC lamps are also used to disinfect packaging, filling equipment, conveyor belts, transport containers and working surfaces. Packaging includes lids, cups, sealing and packaging foils for drinks and cool-chain foodstuffs.
Light Sources and LightTech’s low pressure UV lamps are used in worldwide applications for curing adhesives and resins, as well as inks in high-quality magazines and newspapers. Low pressure UV curing systems produce no hazardous byproducts and have a lower operating cost than heat-based curing systems.
For many years, only high pressure UV curing at the UVA wavelength was available. In the last few years, however, low pressure UV curing, using a wavelength of 254nm, has been increasingly used to cure inks, coatings, lacquers, and resins.
Because low pressure lamps can operate with much less power than medium pressure lamps, they are perfect for applications that require dimming. Both low pressure mercury lamps and amalgam lamps produce UVC; however, there is a growing trend for amalgam lamps for the efficient drying of inks and adhesives with a cationic base.
Before amalgam lamps, low pressure UV curing lamps produced outputs only up to 150 watts. Using more current would cause the lamp to overheat, and the output would drop off. An amalgam lamp can produce an output of 300 to 1000 watts, one-third of which is usable UVC energy. Amalgam lamps offer the ability to downsize the system while maintaining maximum efficiency for UV curing.
Our Proprietary Pellet Amalgam Technology
Long known for innovation, Light Sources and LightTech takes great pride in pioneering pellet technology for amalgam lamps. This cutting edge technology was developed and patented by both Light Sources in the United States and by LightTech in Europe.
The major benefit of pellet amalgam technology compared to spot amalgam technology is that pellet amalgam lamps can not only be operated to produce higher UVC intensity, but they provide higher UVC output at 80% and 60% dimming operation modes. This difference allows for increased output with reduced costs.
Other benefits of our pellet amalgam technology include greater efficiency in any mounting orientation (horizontal or vertical) and operation in more extreme ambient environments.
Industries around the world use our high-quality medium pressure ultraviolet (MPUV) lamps for a multitude of curing applications.
Medium pressure UV curing uses UVA light in the wavelength range of 367nm to 400nm. These wavelengths are exceedingly efficient in curing UV-light activated inks, bonds, adhesives, and finishes (lacquers, glazes and varnishes). Compared to heat curing, UV light curing has fewer maintenance costs and does not produce noxious fumes; no expensive exhaust systems are required.
MPUV lamps are suitable for high-speed press runs, where a higher intensity of UV light is needed due to shorter exposure times. Able to operate with more power, this lamp type can produce high currents for a greater UV output. For example, a 36-inch lamp can produce between 100 to 700 watts per inch, with a total wattage of 3,600 to 25,200.
In addition to offering standard solutions, our engineers can design and develop a system to meet the highly-customized specifications of our OEM clients.
Medium Pressure UV Curing Application Variety:
- Adhesive bonding
- Decorative adhesive transfers
- Engraving and plating resist
- General electronics
- Inks, varnishes, lacquers
- Decorative glazes
- Metal decorations
- Plastic container
- Printed circuit boards
- Printing (label printing, graphic arts)
- Resistors, capacitors
- Sheet decorating