Evaluation of the degradation of materials by exposure to germicide UV-C light through colorimetry, tensile strength and surface microstructure analyses
Keywords: 
UV-C germicidal light
Material degradation
UV irradiation
Surface microstructure
Discoloration
Tensile strength
Issue Date: 
2022
Publisher: 
Elsevier
ISSN: 
2352-4928
Note: 
This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Citation: 
Mitxelena-Iribarren, O. (Oihane); Mondragon, B. (Beñat); Perez-Lorenzo, E. (Eva); et al. "Evaluation of the degradation of materials by exposure to germicide UV-C light through colorimetry, tensile strength and surface microstructure analyses". Materials Today Communications. (31), 2022, 103690
Abstract
Due to the COVID19 pandemic, solutions to automate disinfection using UV-C combined with mobile robots are beginning to be explored. It has been proved that the use of these systems highly reduces the risk of contagion. However, its use in real applications is not being as rapid as it needs to be. One of the main market input barriers is the fear of degrading facilities. For this reason, it is crucial to perform a detailed study on the degradation effect of UV-C light on inert materials. This experimental study proves that, considering exposition times equivalent to several work years in hospital rooms, only the appearance of the material is affected, but not their mechanical functionalities. This relevant result could contribute to accelerate the deployment of these beneficial disinfection technologies. For that purpose, a colorimetry test, tensile strength test, and analysis of the surface microstructure were carried out. The results showed that polymers tend to turn yellow, while fabrics lose in- tensity depending on the color. Red is hardly affected by UV-C, but blue and green are. Thus, this study con- tributes to the identification of the best materials and colors to be used in rooms subjected to disinfection processes. In addition, it is shown how the surface microstructure of the materials is altered in most of the materials, but not the tensile strength of the fabrics

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