MB High Pressure Mercury Vapour

Updated
06-V-2016
Mercury Vapour lamps operating at high pressure (but below 100 watts per centimetre of arc length) and with arc tubes of quartz glass are classified as the MB style. Mercury vapour pressure is typically around ten atmospheres. The reason for the creation of this second category of mercury lamp was to allow the efficacy to be maintained as high as possible for low wattage sources.

The luminous efficacy of any discharge lamp falls as wattage is reduced. It was not feasible to make an MA style lamp below about 150W because its efficacy dropped so much that it could no longer compete with filament lamps. However if the mercury vapour pressure and power loading is increased, luminous efficacy also rises. This was not possible with MA lamps because the arc tube would melt at the higher temperatures which are present at higher power loading.

Quartz glass having a very high softening temperature was necessary to make the low wattage mercury lamp feasible. Quartz is not an easy material to use though. Its coefficient of thermal expansion is so low that no metal wire can be sealed through it directly. One solution came from the work of Denis Gabor at German Osram and later BTH, who invented the molybdenum foil seal. Moly foil of very thin cross-section expands so little that the quartz barely knows it's there. The edges of the foil are feathered, either by rolling or etching, and these knife edges can deform and bury themselves in the quartz as they expand, without cracking it. An alternative seal based on a stack of glasses having graded expansion coefficients was developed by Cornelis Bol at Philips, but was ultimately superseded by the foil seal.

Following the development of these seals, the first high pressure quartz mercury lamps were marketed in 1936 by Philips. The higher wattage MA lamps continued to be made with aluminosilicate arc tubes until the late 1950's on account of the large price penalty that quartz carried with it in the early days, and that an increase in their power loading did not bring such a large advantage as for the low wattages. Eventually though once the price of quartz had fallen sufficiently, and means had been developed for mechanising the seal production, the MB lamp completely superseded the former MA range.

Uncoated Lamps

GE

85W

H-3 early model with graded seals to tungsten
1937

GE-Mazda

100W

H-4 early model with graded seals to tungsten
1938

GE-Mazda

250W

H-5 early model with graded seals to tungsten
1943

GEC

125W

Osira MB/V first model with moly shrink-seals
1944

Siemens

125W

Sieray Type QH with Siemens Foil Seals
1944

Mazda

80W

MB/V with earliest mechanised seal design
1947

Mazda

80W

MB/V first model with moly shrink-seals
1947

Crompton

80W

MB/U in pear shaped pearl bulb
c. 1955

GEC

125W

MB/U in pear shaped pearl bulb
1978

Mazda

125W

MB/U in ellipsoidal shaped pearl bulb
1969

Sylvania

40W

H45-AZ Low Wattage Mercury Discharge
c. 1965

Osram

125W

HQA with new emitter to reduced blackening
1965

Narva

125W

NF125-00 with sintered emitter pellet electrodes
1972

GE

100W

H100/A23 for retrofit into GLS luminaires
1995

Philips

400W

MB/V Long tubular style to replace MA size lamp
1964

Atlas

400W

MB/V Long tubular style to replace MA size lamp
1970

GEC

250W

MB/U short tubular style for new applications
1974

Sylvania

400W

H33-1CD Rough Service lamp with girder frame
1968

Iwasaki

2000W

H2000B High Wattage
1997
       

Fluorescent Lamps

Philips

75W

Philora HPL300 with Sulphide phosphor
1938

GEC

125W

MBF/V with Magnesium Fluoro-germanate
1961

Sylvania

100W

H100/C with Magnesium Fluoro-germanate
1961

Narva

400W

HQL-G Goldweiß with Mg Fluoro-germanate
1971

Philips

250W

HPL with Magnesium Fluoro-arsenate
1965

GE

175W

Bonus Line H175-39/W Impregnated electrodes
1963

Narva

250W

HQL-S Silberweiß with orthphosphate coating
1969

Radium

400W

HQL-S Silberweiß with orthphosphate coating
1969

Westinghouse

400W

H400/W with strontium zinc orthophosphate
1968

Tesla

125W

RVL-B with calcium halophsophate coating
1971

Polam

125W

LRF with Vanadate and Orthophosphate coating
1976

Sylvania

175W

H175/DX with Yttrium Vanadate coating
1979

GEC

1000W

MBF/U with Yttrium Vanadate coating
1977

Westinghouse

100W

H100/DX with Yttrium Phosphate Vanadate
1983

Toshiba

200W

HFX 200 Japanese style fluorescent mercury
1990

Thorn

125W

MBF half coated demonstration lamp
1986

DuroTest

175W

Safe-T-Vapor lamp with internal oxygen fuse
c. 1980

Westinghouse

400W

Safety Lifeguard with internal cut-out device
1981

Special Colour Fluorescent Lamps

Westinghouse

400W

H400/R Beauty Lite with high red ratio
1982

Sylvania

100W

H100/N Warmtone with Vanadate + YAG + dye
1982

Philips

400W

HPL Deluxe with Coarse Grain Vanadate coating
1983

Philips

80W

HPL Comfort with Coarse Vanadate + YAG coating
1993

Osram

50W

HQL-B Super Deluxe with Vanadate + Gold Laquer
1993

Westinghouse

400W

H400/Y" Caution Yellow" with external lacquer
1969

Osram

250W

HQL/5" Caution Yellow" with external lacquer
c. 1965
       

Reflector Lamps

Iwasaki

50W

HR50W/S Mercury Spot Reflector Lamp
2001

Philips

125W

HPLR E40 Cap Reflector with Arsenate Phosphor
1969

GEC

125W

MBFR/U Mercury with Ellipsoidal Reflector
1977

Thorn

400W

MBFR/U Mercury Fluorescent Reflector
1988

SELZ

400W

DRLF400-1 Horticultural with ellipsoidal reflector
1983

Narva

125W

NF125-21 Street lighting with ellipsoidal reflector
1979

Sylvania

100W

H44GS-100 Mercury Sealed Beam Reflector
2003
       

Self-Ballasted Lamps

Mazda

200W

MBT/V with shrink seals and pearl outer bulb
c. 1945

Osram

165W

HWA 302 German lamp in usual pearl bulb
1958

Philips

250W

ML500 First model mercury blended
c. 1947

Bumix

860W

"Jupiter" variable colour mushroom-shape lamp
c. 1950

Philips

160W

MBTL with Magnesium fluorogermanate coating
1960

Atlas

250W

MBTF with Yttrium Vanadate coated bulb
1970

Osram

500W

HWL with isothermal bulb shape
1974?

GE

160W

E-Z Lux HSB160/PS30/M low voltage design
c. 1980

DuroTest

750W

Self-Ballasted Lamp of high efficiency design
c. 1960

DuroTest

450W

Fluomeric with special high efficiency design
1970/78

National

100W

BH100 with preheated arc tube electrodes
2001

Thorn

160W

MBT Sunlight Clear mercury blended lamp
1987

Philips

160W

ML with new design for automatic production
2003

XingJi

500W

HMB Halogen-Ballasted Mercury Vapour
2003

Philips

160W

MLR mercury blended reflector style
1984

Special Application & Ultra-Violet

GEC

80W

MB/D Projector lamp with handmade arctube
1942

Mazda

80W

MB/D for monochrome slide projection
1962

Mazda

125W

MBL/D with diaphragms for laboratory use
1967

Philips

125W

HPK 125 for laboratory use
1975

Mazda

40W

MBM Coal Mine lamp for compressed air system
1950

GE-Thorn

5kW

MB high wattage photo-printing lamp
1991

Philips

125W

HPR Reflector lamp for reprographic application
1984

GE

100W

S-4 Sun tanning lamp with graded seals
1940

Osram

300W

Ultra-Vitalux sun tanning lamp in round bulb
c. 1955

Wotan

300W

Ultra-Vitalux sun tanning lamp in reflector bulb
c. 1960

Philips

300W

MLU Sun tanning reflector style lamp
1968

GE

100W

H4-BL Purple-X mercury vapour blacklight
1970

Osram

80W

HQV mercury discharge with Woods Glass bulb
1964

Thorn

125W

MBW Black Magic with Woods Glass bulb
1974

Philips

125W

HPW mercury discharge with Woods Glass bulb
1985

Iwasaki

400W

H400BL High Wattage Blacklight lamp
1994