UV Lamps in the Automotive Industry

Did you know UV lamps are used in the automotive industry?

Many components that make up a vehicle are made using UV lamps including headlight and taillight lenses, airbag coatings, alloy wheels, interior trim pieces, pin-striping, seat belt coatings, body panels, radio antennae, and sound insulation. The benefits to these items being UV coated and cured include glare reduction, wear and scratch resistance, anti-fogging, microbial resistance, and chemical resistance. Believe it or not, windows can also be coated with a UV curable coating in order to reduce the amount of ultraviolet radiation that passes through!

Headlight and Taillight Lenses

UV coating has been used in the manufacture of automotive lenses for over 30 years, being in both the main components of the part – the polycarbonate lens and the reflector housing. The lens needs a tough, scratch-resistant coating to protect the polycarbonate, and UV coatings provide this with an instant cure time to save money. The reflector housing is protected and sealed with UV coating.

Alloy wheels

UV curable coating can be applied to alloy wheels to protect the finish from the effects of water, ice, salt, grit and accidental scratched and light damage. The coating will be cured instantly once exposed to UV light emitted by a medium pressure lamp, ensuring quicker drying times than air or heat dried coatings.

Body panels

Another use of UV coating in automotive manufacture is the application of a UV cured clear coating on molded body panels. The benefits of a UV coating are that it is tough and durable whilst retaining flexibility, and it can be readily used on plastic panels as there is no heat involved to cure the coating, which would otherwise distort the shape. The UV coating means that it won’t crack when it is hit by objects kicked up by the tyres or other vehicles. As with all UV coatings it is a quick process, meaning production lines can move rapidly and there is no requirement for drying space.

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