2016.06.27 UV

5 myths about UV light

The substitution principle means that UV light is increasingly often replacing hazardous chemicals within industry. However, despite the fact that the basic technology has been around for many years, a number of myths are flourishing surrounding the function of UV light in process fluids.

Myth #1: UV light only functions in clear fluids and not in, for example, emulsions

False! It has been proven both in the laboratory and on site at customers that UV treatment of emulsions is very effective. Sometimes even more effective than what appear to be clear fluids. Of course there are emulsions that are unsuitable for such treatment, however it often involves older products which already date back 20 or 30 years. Outmoded metalworking fluids.

In a finely dispersed modern emulsion, UV light is transported very well. The drops of oil even help to reflect light, which is known as the scattering effect.

Myth #2: UV light destroys metalworking fluid

False! UV light in the correctly selected wavelengths does not generally destroy metalworking fluid.  There are a very small number of metalworking fluid products where the metalworking fluid is affected. For example, it might entail it getting a bit darker after having been in use for a while. An analysis of the relevant metalworking fluid can quickly provide answers to whether it is compatible with UV light. This should be done before a UV system is installed.

Myth #3: UV light doesn't break down mould

False! All living organisms that pass under the lamps, including bacteria, virus, mould and algae are broken down by UV light.

However, mould can be more resistant to UV light and therefore needs to be exposed to a higher dose than, for example, bacteria. It is therefore important that the UV system is correctly dimensioned.

Myth #4: UV light is dangerous

False! UV light is a natural occurrence, without it there would be no life on earth. Sunbathing too much is not good, but light never escapes from a UV system. If we consider FluidWorker, the construction, in conjunction with a large number of sensors makes it impossible for the user to be exposed to UV-rays.

UV is a physical process that does not emit strange and hazardous substances, rather the reaction takes place inside the system. Neither does it affect the surroundings in general.

Myth #5: UV light is expensive to use as a substitute for biocides

False! UV light has become considerably more economically beneficial to use in the last two years. It is also more energy efficient. If you look at the total cost of using biocides, it entails higher costs than you would think. In particular storage places in secure cabinets, instructions, updating of instructions, protective equipment that has to be discarded after use, risk assessment and purchase price. Moreover, forthcoming requirements for biocide suppliers mean that the cost of biocides will be going up within the near future.

The cost for negative health effects caused by biocides, their impact on comfort and well-being in the workplace, the reduced opportunities to recruit new personnel etc. are factors that we currently find difficult to grasp and define. If you consider the total cost, it quickly becomes apparent that UV light is cheaper than biocide use.

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Jan Östlund
Jan Östlund

Jan har över 20 års erfarenhet av processvätskor inom den metallbearbetande industrin. Han har stor kunskap om processvätskans kritiska funktion och även om dess miljörisker.

Jan has over 20 years' of experience from process fluids within the metalworking industry. He is highly knowledgeable on the process fluid's critical functions and its environmental impact as well as the total cost of ownership related to process fluids and the savings that can be achieved making the right choices.

Jan hat über 20 Jahre Erfahrung mit Prozessflüssigkeiten in der Metallverarbeitenden Industrie. Er ist sehr gut informiert sowohl über die kritische Funktion der Prozessflüssigkeit als auch über seine Umweltrisiken.

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