There are two types of UV lamps that can be supplied with UV conveyors. Whats the difference?

There are two types of UV lamps available for curing UV curable conformal coatings. These are arc lamps and microwave lamps. I have listed the difference below for the two technologies.

UV Arc Lamps

The UV arc lamps are much lower in capital cost compared to the UV microwave systems. The life time of a bulb is approx 500-1000 hours, depending how the lamp system is used, and, after this time the output power will degrade to be about 60% of the initial value.

This drop in power can be critical if the speed of the conveyor is approaching the limit of the cure ability of the lamp and the UV conformal coating and may need to be monitored. If the system is run slow enough this may not be an issue (relative to heat cure a slow speed is still pretty fast!). The cost of the replacement UV bulbs are typically £150-200,depending upon the lamp fill, which is a similar price to the microwave bulbs. It must also be noted that UC arc lamps also run a little hotter than the UV microwave lamps.


UV Microwave lamps

The microwaves lamp will last much longer. Depending on the model lifetime can be quoted between 4000-8000 hours and one model guarantees 9000 hours. During this time there is very little power degradation. The UV lamp will not extinguish until the end of its life in this time period. The cost for the bulbs are similar.

Generally, as a rule of thumb if cost is very tight then we recommend the UV arc lamps, especially if there is low volume use and high speed is not critical. If it is higher volume, higher speed then we generally recommend UV microwave lamp technology since it is generally more economic and no maintenance is involved in monitoring the UV output.

If you would like to know more about UV cure conveyors  or other products and services offered and supported by SCH Technologies, please do not hesitate to contact us on +44 1226 249019, email us at, click UV Cure Conveyors for curing conformal coatings or Contact Us to send us your requests.


About Dr Lee Hitchens

Dr Hitchens has been working in the electronics industry and the area of conformal coatings for over 25 years in various areas including sales and technical support. He has also been training people for almost the same amount of time in all areas of conformal coating whether that is materials & equipment selection, process development or troubleshooting to help them solve their particular problem. Recently, he decided that the industry needed a specific place where all of the useful knowledge on conformal coatings could be collated for users to find easily and use in their own production process. So, Nexus was born and he began the Nexus eBook project.

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