The geometry of the reflectors is optimised using state-of-the-art ray tracing software. UV lamps and reflectors are read into the program as 3D models. The static receiver levels of the radiation are representative surfaces for UV drying and are displayed at various distances. The definitive factor is the lamp axis and the typical distances from the substrate or coating material. As the reflector geometry changes, so does the ray tracing. The ray tracing of the UV system is subject to different requirements depending on the application. During work with particularly temperature-sensitive substrates, parabolic reflectors that produce a beavertail ray are employed. In other cases, elliptical reflectors are advantageous, because they concentrate the ray. The radiated power per surface is measured and displayed as watts per square millimetre in a 3D graph. Ray tracing is used to calculate and optimise the UV efficiency of the unit, the homogeneity of the radiation and the distance characteristics.
The thermodynamics are optimised in a further development step. The unit is now read into the program as a 3D model, in order to simulate the speed profile of the flow of air and the thermal load of the air, reflectors and housing components alongside the UV unit. Critical zones can be recognised and their dynamics can be optimised. Ray tracing and thermosimulation considerably shorten development times, as the design of both reflectors and housing components can be modified immediately in the 3D CAD system following an optimisation process. Thanks to these simulation programs, time-consuming test set-ups in the laboratory are reduced to a minimum.