Alpha-Cure has over 22 years’ experience in the manufacture of UV curing lamps and we certainly know our way around a UV curing system. We help our customers find the right replacement UV reflectors for their system every day, so we have plenty of experience in finding the right solution for the problem. In this blog we aim to share our knowledge with you so that you are able to extend the useful lifetime of your reflectors and ensure a high-quality cure every time.
What are UV system reflectors?
An integral element of many UV systems are the reflectors which, as the name would suggest, help to reflect UV light onto the substrate. Up to 70% of the UV energy that reaches the substrate comes from the reflectors, so they are critical in ensuring the UV system is operating effectively.
Why are there different types of UV reflectors?
UV system reflectors are available in a range of materials and geometric shapes to suit different the range of UV curing applications. Materials include:
- Highly polished aluminium: These are commonly used for focusing ultraviolet light from a medium pressure mercury vapour lamp, UV curing lamp or metal halide lamp as metal halide reflectors.
- Dichroic coated aluminium: These reflect visible light and allow infrared radiation to pass through. This type reduces heating of illuminated objects since less infrared radiation is present in the light beam.
- UV coated quartz: Quartz material is stronger than glass and therefore can be used at temperatures up to 1050 ° C and has a high transmission from 230nm to 3000nm. This makes it useful for most UV applications.
Alpha-Cure can also supply extruded reflectors, stainless steel reflectors, bora silica and many more.
How do I look after my reflectors?
We recommend our customers check and carefully clean their system reflectors every time they change the UV lamps, and they should expect to have to replace reflectors every 3 or 4 lamp changes. If a reflector appears deformed or distorted, and cleaning it makes no difference, we would advise it is replaced as soon as possible no matter how old it is.