UV radiation box with a functional vacuum table
For this project, we were approached by an A*STAR affiliated Research Center to design and build an ultraviolet light irradiating chamber. Essentially, a box with a powerful UV light source with a specific wavelength to irradiate things which would be held securely by some form of holding device.
Rather than build a box from scratch, we re purposed a Dry-Box for this build. The idea being that it was already a relatively good-looking, well-built box with a door and plenty of space for us to fit all our components in. It also included wire channels which worked out perfectly for us as it allowed us to keep our wire management neat and tidy.
Acquiring the UV LED was fairly straightforward. Although an unexpected twist that came our way was that the LED was so powerful that it it would get scalding hot the moment you turned it on. Nevertheless, we threaded carefully and procured an excessively large heat sink to dissipate heat from the LED. At the clients request, we also installed a control to adjust the intensity of the UV LED.
Another interesting requirement was the need for a “Holding Device” to secure whatever was to be irradiated. Inspired by vacuum clamping systems found on high-end machining centres, we decided to build our own. This included sourcing for a vacuum pump, pneumatic fittings, even a vacuum gauge.
Feedback and improvements
After our first round of feedback, the client felt the UV light needed to be focused specifically on the vacuum table. To achieve this, we built a large funnel that surrounded the LED, leaving a small opening near the bottom for the UV light to escape down to shine onto the holding device.
As an extra layer of safety, we also installed a UV-resistant screen onto the glass door of the box. This would allow users to see into the box without fear that they would be exposing themselves to a large amount of harmful UV rays.
Additionally, while it wasn’t a requirement that was outlined, we added an LED strip to the interior of the box. This allowed the users to better see what they were doing when trying to mount objects to the vacuum table. An unexpected but very well recieved addition for the A*STAR users.
Once everything was built and buttoned up nicely, we put it through hours of rigorous testing to make sure everything worked safely and reliably before delivering it to the research center to fulfil its role of irradiating experiments for A*STAR scientists and researchers.
As always we accept commissions for any form of prototyping job such as proof of concept prototypes, fabrication jobs, functional prototyping for production, etc. Please feel free to contact us if you'd like to have something built or have any queries about how we can help you with your idea