curing lamps have health and safety concerns. It is important to know
what concerns exist so that they can be dealt with properly. UV curing
products are supplied by many companies and it is always best to check
with your supplier with any specific concern.
typical electrical and heat concerns a printer deals with, UV curing
systems introduce intense UV light. Shielding is absolutely mandatory.
UV lamps produce harmful UV radiation that can cause serious burns to
skin and eyes. While thermal burns are felt immediately, UV burns are
not felt for several hours. Short exposure to lamp radiation can cause
severe burning to eyes and skin. Fortunately, UV light does not reflect
significantly from most surfaces. If one does not have a direct line of
sight to the lamp or reflector, there typically is not a significant
amount of UV energy to worry about. The fact that visible light can be
seen does not mean that significant UV energy is present. Normally,
even escaping visible light is minimal with a well-engineered UV lamp
system. If a large amount of light is escaping, the system supplier
should be notified to determine if a problem exists.
Another health concern regarding the
UV lamp is the generation of ozone. The interaction of short-wavelength
UV light with oxygen causes the generation of ozone. Although it is
possible to use an "ozone free" lamp, the negative impact on curing is
significant enough that very few people use these lamps. Most suppliers
handle the ozone concern by ducting the ozone away from the work
environment. Due to the high reactivity of the ozone, the molecule will
typically decompose back to oxygen while traveling through the exhaust
Finally, high voltages and currents
are necessary to energize UV lamps. Lamp wiring should be in separate
conduit away from with control wiring. All wires must be kept from the
lamp radiation area. Electrical interlocks should be provided on the
processor and its power supply. Regular maintenance inspection should
be made to ensure these are not defeated in use.
Electrical systems should be serviced only by qualified electricians.