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UV curing is a photochemical process using different types of UV rays to cure inks, coatings, sealants, and adhesives. Using a low-temperature photochemical reaction, UV curing offers a near-instantaneous solution that eliminates the need for solvents and drying time. The types of UV rays used for curing are UVA, UVB, UVC, and UVV. Each wavelength type has a different range for how deeply it can penetrate a substrate, and selecting a suitable UV curing process is determined by the substrate being used and the desired curing effect. Learn about the UV spectrum, UV rays types and wavelength ranges, and the helpful curing uses of UV rays, or check out a PDF of our information on the A,B, C and V types of UV rays. UV wavelength distances through substrate being cured  

What is the UV Spectrum?

The UV spectrum measures the strength of ultraviolet radiation in different wavelengths. UV rays that occur within the visible light range of the spectrum include UVA, UVB, and UVC, while UVV produces a visible UV wavelength. The uses of UV rays span various applications and industries, with some UV wavelengths utilized in essential sterilization and inspection processes.

Measured in nanometers, the power of an ultraviolet wavelength determines how far it can penetrate an ink, coating, or adhesive on a substrate surface. Success in UV curing depends on choosing an appropriate UV wavelength range to provide the necessary effect for a desired product. UVC offers the shortest wavelength range, and UVV has the longest.

  Ultraviolet Spectrum Wavelengths in Nanometers

Different Types of UV Rays

UVA Rays & Wavelength Range

UVA wavelengths range from 315 nm to 400 nm, making it the longest UV wavelength. Offering an excellent general UV curing solution, UVA rays provide most of the adhesion properties in UV curing formulations. The uses of UV rays in the UVA range include curing inks, coatings, and adhesives, but also for inspection and UV fluorescing applications.

UVB Rays & Wavelength Range

The wavelengths of UVB rays range from 280 nm to 315 nm, providing a mid-length wave capable of delivering deeper substrate surface penetration. Typically found in photoinitiators, UVB rays are used to cure coatings, adhesives, and inks, similarly to UVA rays. Other common uses for the UVB wavelength range include disinfection and sterilization applications.

UVC Rays & Wavelength Range

The shortest and weakest UV wavelength range is UVC, measuring from 100 nm to 280 nm. UVC rays offer an impressive and powerful output in the 250 nm to 260 nm range but can be affected by the presence of oxygen. With oxygen presenting an operational challenge by blocking UVC waves, applications utilizing UVC rays require a nitrogen-purge environment. Wavelengths in the UVC range give coatings scratch-resistant properties and can be used for a range of applications, including:

UVV Rays & Wavelength Range

  • While the other types of UV rays are invisible, UVV rays exist in a visible wavelength spanning 395 nm to 455 nm. Providing the deepest level curing capabilities, UVV rays are used with UV/Visible formulations for adhesion properties. The uses of UV rays in the visible UVV range offer optimal results when working with white and silver conductive pigments, coatings with TiO2 pigments, adhesives, and deep potting compounds.
UV Wavelengths

Uses for UV Rays & Wavelengths

In addition to UV curing, uses of UV rays can be found across industries in many applications. With uses of ultraviolet radiation, including personal and industrial, the potential for UV applications is ever-expanding. Ultraviolet wavelengths are capable of simple operations like illumination, but they also offer complex functions in light therapy and germicidal applications. Various uses of UV rays can be used for:

UVC rays offer excellent germicidal properties that deactivate bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens to keep them from spreading. The germicidal properties of UVC rays make them ideal for disinfection and sterilization in several applications in various industries. Providing a non-chemical approach to disinfection, germicidal UVC applications are cost-effective and low maintenance, with efficiency through combined time and intensity variables. The uses of UV rays in germicide include water sterilization, food processing, medical, and industrial utilizations.

Tanning, personal care, and phototherapy applications utilize different types of UV rays for personal use. UV lamps can offer solutions to dull skin by providing a cosmetic sun-kissed look and innovative medical benefits for conditions like acne, psoriasis, eczema, and seasonal depression. However, it’s essential to protect oneself from overexposure to harmful UVA and UVB rays that may cause mild sunburns or more severe complications like melanoma.

UV Fusion Microwave bulbs

Discover Premium UV Products & UV Informational Resources at DoctorUV

DoctorUV is your resource for high-quality UV products. In addition to an extensive inventory, we offer helpful resources to explain the benefits of UV curing and the different types of UV rays, detail our exceptional products and services, advise on repairs, and so much more. Contact us with any questions or request a quote today.