Research Outline

UV-C Penetrable Plastic & Materials


Build a list of sheet plastics and other materials that are easily penetrated by UV-C light, as defined by academic/scholarly research papers and articles. For each, as available, include information on the material's spectral analysis and/or how much UV-C light can pass through it. Additionally, include purchase links for the materials identified, if publicly available to buy, for pieces that are 3' long by 3" wide by 1/8" thick. We will not be locating a list of vendors.

Early Findings

  • UV-C light is typically used for disinfecting or product curing purposes, especially in the medical field.
  • UV-C light on medical surfaces can damage the DNA or RNA of microbial beings or pathogens that prevents them from replicating, and thus results in them dying off.
  • The FDA does claim that UV-C light is capable of degrading plastics, polymers and dyed textiles over prolonged exposure periods.
  • UV-C light cannot pass through plain glass, nor can it pass through a majority of plastics. Penetration rates are highly correlated with chemical composition of materials.
  • The materials known to be permeable to UV-C light include glass (for windows and mirrors), finished/painted wood, traditional paint, vinyl (for floors/walls), Formica, ceiling tiles, ceramic floors, air, liquids, foods, and fabric.
  • UV-C light can penetrate quartz glass from all angles.
  • Studies have been conducted to test UV-C lights penetration rates on sesame protein isolate (SPI) films. This research found that penetration of UV-C light to this medium strengthened the properties of the SPI film post-exposure.
  • Lexan resin is subject to weathering from UV-C light over long periods of exposure, and can result in changes of surface color.