When ultraviolet light is mentioned, many people immediately think of either sunbeds, counterfeit money detectors, insect traps or fish pond disinfection units.
However, UV light is all around us, not just occurring naturally from sunlight but supplied by companies such as ourselves which, through high-tech industrial, commercial, public service and medical applications, make our daily lives more comfortable, secure, healthier and even fun.
From treating vitamin D deficiencies and relieving the unsightly effects of Psoriasis, UV light is used in many treatment breakthroughs including fluorescent dyes (used in conjunction with UV blacklight) to identify cancerous cells in the internal organs of patients.
In the world of science and engineering, it is so often vital to establish the ageing effects of the sun on materials for safety and aesthetic reasons. Ultraviolet light sources which closely correlate to natural sunlight are used in a vast range of applications from testing aircraft windscreens to examining the effects of degradation on building materials.
UV fluorescent inspection processes make working life easier for quality control engineers, forensic scientists, police officers and auction houses to name but a few. Under UV-A blacklight, hairline cracks can be detected in aircraft undercarriages, automotive steering systems and many of the critical components upon which our lives may depend.
In the field of forensics, blacklights help unearth vital evidence at crime scenes. The inspection of works of art under UV will reveal imperfections and evidence of restoration, an important aspect of authentication for valuation and sale.
The special effects industry has embraced UV blacklight for its ability to produce stunning visual effects – as if by magic. Festival tended environments use UV responsive backdrops, bowling alleys create glowing lanes, concerts and theatres use UV reactive clothing and materials to create wonderful fluorescent effects. It’s UV blacklight in nightclubs that make your white clothing glow in the dark.
At the opposite end of the UV spectrum, microbiologists and employing UV-C germicidal lamps within engineering control measured to reduce infection caused by airborne transmission of bacterial pathogens within built environments. Furthermore, some of the water we drink has been disinfected using UV-C light, as has a wide variety of food, drink and medical supplies.
In recent years, UV light curing of materials has emerged as perhaps the most exciting and versatile material technology. These single component, solvent-free material systems cure almost instantaneously under UV light with the efficient use of energy.
They offer unrivalled and unique process advantages in times of stringent legislation changes restricting the use of many solvents. UV-A, UV-B and UV-C sources are deployed depending on the type of material to be processed, for example, adhesives, coatings, paints and primers.
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