Scratching your head about ozone and what it has to do with your UV lamps? Here is some information to help you out!

What is ozone?

Ozone (O3) is a gas that is produced from ultra-violet light.  It is an odorous, colorless gas that is formed when oxygen is broken down by ultra-violet light or atmospheric electrical discharges.  You can often smell ozone after a lightning storm.  Ozone is naturally present in Earth’s atmosphere (mainly the stratosphere) and can also be produced commercially.

Is ozone dangerous?

Ozone has a distinctive smell, like chlorine, that can be detectable from 0.1 parts per million.  In the stratosphere, the level of ozone ranges from 2 – 8 parts per million.  Due to a short half-life, ozone quickly reverts to oxygen (O2) and as a result cannot be stored.  In concentrated quantities ozone can cause headaches, burning eyes, and respiratory irritation.  Ozone is created commercially using ozone generators for odor reduction and water purification.

What does ozone have to do with my printing equipment?

Since ozone can be produced from ultra-violet light, it is a by-product of curing.  Most ozone produced by UV lamps dissipates quickly and since a majority of equipment is extracted externally, this ozone does not come into contact anyone.  As a small percentage of print shops use UV equipment that is not extracted, a lamp can be made with a ‘reduced ozone’ quartz.  This version of quartz is costlier and the material decreases the UV output of the lamp resulting in a less efficient lamp.  While this type of lamp is necessary in some situations where you would want to decrease exposure to ozone that is not being extracted out of the building, it is not recommended for use in equipment that is extracted already.  As there is less UV energy emitted to cure while run at the same power, you are paying more money for a lamp that is not as efficient and will waste energy essential getting “less bang for your buck”.

Contact us today for your UV lamp needs! We can make any custom lamp to your requirements including reduced ozone, additive (gallium, iron, lead), amended arc length, etc. in addition to your standard lamp requirements.

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