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Research: UVC aging of FEP heat shrink

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Customers often ask for data regarding the long-term use of FEP with UVC lamps and the effects on the fluoropolymer coating exposed to UVC radiations. Adtech did not have the data readily available and as such, gladly offered samples to be used for testing. 

UV lamp manufacturer Light Sources conducted a research on the aging of fluoropolymer heat shrink sleeves used on UVC lamps. The main objective was to understand the long-term change in transmission of fluoroplastic heat shrink exposed to intense UVC radiations. As part of this research, Adtech's FEP heat shrink was tested.

Why use FEP for shatterproofing UVC lamps

FEP has proved to be the ultimate coating material for shatterproofing UVC lamps and preventing glass contamination. The fluoropolymer is transparent to UVC light, completely unaffected by UV light, non-stick, strong and sturdy, and able to withstand high temperatures. As such, FEP does not become degraded by the heat or UV rays emitted by the lamps.

The FEP coating also outlasts the life of the lamp, where other inferior plastic coverings embrittle or discolour under the effect of the UV radiation. With an FEP heat shrink sleeve, the UVC transmission rate of the lamps still remains high at approximately 85%, thereby ensuring maximum performance.

Research: Long-term transmission of fluoropolymer heat shrink on UVC lamps

In the research conducted by Light Sources, fluoroplastic heat shrink sleeves were applied to lamps and exposed to intense UVC radiations for thousands of hours. The objective of the research was to understand the long-term change in transmission of FEP and PFA heat shrink applied on UVC lamps. The hypothesis was that fluoropolymer heat shrink degrades after long-term exposure to UV rays and heat.

Different FEP and PFA heat shrink sleeves were tested on different UV lamps of different power levels, from amalgam to 400 mA and 800 mA lamps. As part of this research, Adtech’s FEP heat shrink sleeves were tested. The lamps were operated for up to 8000 hours, which accounts for half its average lifetime.

Findings: Minimal degradation in UVC transmittance of FEP & PFA heat shrink

The research found that fluoropolymer heat shrink sleeves minimally degrade after 8000 hours. The UVC transmittance degradation amounted to approximately 3-7% on amalgam lamps and 0-3% on standard and high output lamps. The research also found that the power density affects degradation. For amalgam lamps, degradation is accelerated by the additional heat and the increased UVC rays.

While the test was only carried out for 8000 hours, the research found that the UVC transmittance degradation levelled off to an approximately linear rate after 2000 hours, and thus doesn’t expect further degradation for the remainder of the lifetime of the lamp. No aging difference was found between the use of FEP or PFA material. Given its lower cost, the research recommends FEP for shatterproofing lamps.

You can find the full report by Light Sources here: Fluoropolymer heat shrink aging. In the report, Manufacturer A denotes Adtech. ​​​​​​This data is intended as a guide. Adtech do not accept responsibility for the accuracy of the data, and customers should carry out their own testing.

Here at Adtech, we are specialists in delivering innovative fluoropolymer solutions for your technical applications. Find out more about our Shatterproof Lamp Coatings.

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A research was conducted on the aging of fluoropolymer heat shrink used on UVC lamps, and Adtech's FEP heat shrink was tested.
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