FAQs - UV Lamps

 What is a UV lamp and when would you use one?

Magnaflux ultraviolet (UV) lamps, also known as black lights, are designed for use with our fluorescent magnetic particle and liquid penetrant inspection chemicals.

All of our chemical products fluoresce around 365 nm (the industry standard for non-destructive testing), so our UV lamps have been built to ensure optimum performance at this wavelength.

 How can I check the UV output of my lamp?

To check the UV output of your lamp, use the UVe Lux meter, a compact, lightweight and robust meter that accurately measures both UV (black) light and visible (white) light at the same time.

 What are the health and safety issues associated with using UV lights?

UV light is subdivided into three bands: UV(A) (315-400nm), UV(B) (280-315nm) and UV(C) (100-280nm). It is the UV(A) component that excites the fluorescent dyes and pigments within our products and that allows them to fluoresce.

It has long been known that UV(B) and UV(C) are associated with various detrimental health effects. Recent evidence also suggests that UV(A) may also be involved.

Whilst our metal halide lamps do generate UV(B) and UV(C), a filter is used to ensure that only the UV(A) passes through. Our LED lamps are tuned to an output of 365 ± 5 nm and do not emit any UV(B) or UV(C).

Some individuals have an increased sensitivity to UV light and these people may suffer skin problems when exposed to it. This photosensitivity can be affected by cosmetics, drugs and other chemicals.

Although our UV lights are safe when used as intended, operators and users should minimise direct skin exposure to UV(A). This can easily be achieved by carrying out a few sensible precautions:

  • Cover exposed skin with clothing giving good protection – examples include long-sleeved overalls or loose clothing with a close weave. Wear gloves if possible.
  • Apply sunblocks or broadband sunscreens with high protection factors (≥15) to exposed or uncovered skin. Apply generously and reapply frequently. If the operator is particularly sensitive to UV light emissions, ensure that special skin and eye protection is available and used.
  • Never look directly at a UV source and avoid looking at reflections from shiny surfaces.
  • Never use focussing optical devices, such as magnifying glasses, telescopes or microscopes, to look into the light beam (corrective eye glasses do not count as focussing optical devices).
  • Do not direct the UV beam at other people.
  • Where possible, position the UV light below eye level.
  • Wear UV-absorbing spectacles when working with UV light sources. These not only provide protection, they also enhance contrast.
  • Restrict access into the area where the UV lights are being used, to trained personnel.
  • Ensure that appropriate warning and information signs are posted.
 Are there special precautions when handling metal halide UV bulbs?

Take care handling metal halide UV bulbs. These bulbs contain mercury vapour, which is hazardous and requires special methods of disposal. We recommend that waste bulbs are carefully collected and disposed of using a suitable waste disposal contractor. Some local authorities may also be able to take hazardous waste.

 Do I need to check for cracks on a metal halide lamp filter?

Yes, as the filter cuts out harmful UV(B) and UV(C) light, and any visible light created by the lamp. It is also important to check the cleanliness of the filter as any surface contamination will reduce the intensity of the lamp.

The best time to check the condition of the filter is before you switch the lamp on.

 Are all Magnaflux UV lamps certificated and CE marked?

Yes, all Magnaflux UV lamps are certificated and carry the CE marking. They all have a unique serial number for identification purposes.

 Now that the ZB-100F has been withdrawn, what will replace it?

For over 30 years, the ZB-100 series UV lamp has been an industry standard UV source for both magnetic particle and fluorescent penetrant inspection. However, changes in the regulations governing mercury bulbs are now forcing a change away from the use of the mercury vapour bulb used in the ZB-100F.

To replace it, we launched the EV6000, the latest in LED UV technology from Magnaflux. UV(A) radiation is generated by 5 special high-performance LEDs and focused through custom-designed optics to provide a beam width of 23 cm diameter at 38 cm height.  The EV6000 is a mains-only operated unit and is our direct replacement for the ZB-100F.

 Will there be any NADCAP audit concerns using an EV6000?

No; customers can be confident moving from the ZB-100F to the EV6000.

 Is the EV6000 resistant to penetrants and Carrier II oil?

Yes; chemical resistance to these materials was an essential part of our testing.

 Some LED lenses become cloudy over time; will this happen with the EV6000?

No; the EV6000 LED lenses are made from a different material that will not go cloudy.

 What are the hand-holding characteristics of the EV6000?

The EV6000 was designed with the operator in mind; in particular, it has a comfortable handle and its weight is well balanced.

 Does the EV6000 lamp have a cooling fan like the ZB-100F?

No; its LEDs are cool running and do not need a cooling fan, which can clog and fail.

 What checks do I need to do to ensure that the EV6000 is calibrated?

With the packaging for your EV6000, you will find a certificate that shows that, at the point of manufacture, it was compliant with the requirements of ASTM E3022 and RRES 90061.

Within the Rolls Royce specification (RRES 90061), there are references to the design and build of the lamp, and also to the use of the lamp for inspection. Sections 9 and 10 of RRES 90061 refer to the in-use checks that should be carried out by the end user. It should be standard practise to check the lamp output (UV and white light) using a calibrated meter. These tests should be carried out when output of the lamp is stable, which, for the EV6000, is essentially after switching it on. This specification also quotes a test to demonstrate that the beam pattern is uniform.

 Can I carry out repairs to my EV6000 lamp?

The EV6000 was designed to allow our customers to perform routine maintenance and repairs without compromising the integrity of the lamp. You can replace the protective shield and UV filter yourself if they become damaged. Alternatively, they can be replaced by a Magnaflux authorised service centre.

All other repairs, such as changing the switch or LED assembly, should be carried out by a Magnaflux authorised service centre. For information on our authorised service centres, please email us at sales.eu@magnaflux.com.

Please note that any advanced service performed by the customer (including adjustment of intensity or internal wiring) will invalidate the warranty.

 What happens if there is a failure within the LED array? Can I replace an LED myself?

The EV6000 uses high-quality UV LEDs so the risk of failure is minimal. However, should there be a failure within the LED array, the repair must be conducted by a Magnaflux approved service centre, as the lamp will need to be recalibrated. For information on our authorised service centres, please email us at sales.eu@magnaflux.com.

 Do the UV LEDs emit any white light?

ASTM 3022 references that visible light contamination above 400nm can interfere with the inspection process and must be controlled to minimise reflected glare and maximise the contrast of the indications. With the EV6000, the UV LEDs do emit low levels of white light above 400nm, for which there is no accurate and consistent method to ascertain the level. For this reason, Magnaflux has included a UV-pass filter on the EV6000 to remove all visible light contamination and to reduce glare during inspection.

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