There have been various reports over the past five years suggesting that mercury UV curing lamps will be banned from sale in the near future. This news has caused concern amongst many printers and users of UV lamps for industrial applications. However, you’ll be pleased to hear that this information is incorrect.
Worldwide there is growing concern surrounding global warming and the harmful emissions that contribute to it. To help tackle this, the UK government and European commission put in place the Climate Change Act 2009 and Energy Act 2009. The UK has a national requirement to reduce emissions by 80% (based on 1990 levels) by 2050. As part of this review, studies were conducted to identify how these targets would be met and lighting was one of the key areas. This has been incorrectly interpreted by various sources, and there have been suggestions that mercury vapour UV lamps will be banned from use. This is unfounded and is being used to make the more expensive LED systems look more attractive.
Alternatives to mercury vapour lamps
It has been suggested to many companies that they begin looking for alternatives to mercury vapour curing lamps, as to avoid issues in the future. As we have already discussed, this ban will not affect mercury curing lamps and therefore there is no need to look for alternatives. Leading on from this there is also no viable alternatives for mercury vapour curing lamps and these lamps are used in everything from printing, to bonding and even water disinfection to name a few. It has been suggested that LED could be used as a greener alternative, however it has been proven that LED isn’t viable at this point for use in all UV applications. The cost of the proposed LED systems are more than double the conventional alternatives and although energy savings can be made in powering the lamp, the LED systems get very hot and need an energy intensive cooling system to allow them to run correctly.
If you have any concerns over the mercury ban please contact us, a member of the Alpha-Cure team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.