The most important factor when operating your metal working business is safety. The most important factor when purchasing a fiber laser for your metal working business is safety. This page is dedicated to providing an outline to guide your purchase decision with respect to safety.
Fiber Laser Enclosure.
Any industrial sheet laser that is in operation in the United States or Canada is required to be fully enclosed. You may see lasers being advertised and sold without enclosures, these laser machines are not safety compliant and are dangerous. These unguarded lasers are commonly produced in China and are sold into third world countries that have little if no safety regulations.
Fiber Laser Windows: Most fiber laser enclosures include viewing windows in the side panels. Any translucent material installed into the side panels of the enclosure must be laser rated translucent material suitable for the size of the laser. When considering your laser purchase, ask the supplier for the speciation’s on the windows, low cost China import lasers often are found to have non laser rated translucent material such as plexiglass, this material provides no protection against a direct or wayward beam.
Fiber laser encloser access doors and panels: Any and all doors that allow operators to load and unload the material into the fiber laser must be equipped with safety sensors that stop the operation of the laser upon the doors being opened. Additionally, any and all electrical panel access and maintenance door access must also be protected by safety sensors.
Fiber laser enclosure side panels: All components that make up the side panels of the fiber laser enclosure must be laser rated material. This means if steel is used for the side panels it must be thick enough to prevent penetration from the unfocused laser beam. Non laser rated plastic or other not metallic materials are not sufficient.
Operation of a fiber laser creates gases and air born particulates. These gases and air born particulates can be harmful to laser operators and bystanders in the facility.
Gasses: Fiber lasers often use inert gasses to protect the material being cut and purge the tube that the laser beam travels though. The most commonly used gases are argon, helium, nitrogen and compressed air. Additionally, certain materials produce noxious gases when cut. One example is Polyvinyl chloride commonly known as PVC. When PVC is cut with a fiber laser chlorine gas is released.
Particulates. Fiber lasers produce air born particulates that can be inhaled by operators and bystanders in the facility. Depending on the material being cut some particulates can cause negative health effects.
Laser Safety Officer (LSO).
A Laser Safety Officer (LSO) is a professional that is accredited to oversee and manage laser operation and laser safety. The area around an operating fiber laser should be treated as a dangerous environment. Many dangers are present and operators should consult a Laser Safety Officer (LSO) to determine what PPE should be utilized by the operators and bystanders for their application.
For more information on Fiber Laser safety, Fiber Laser consulting or to purchase a Fiber Laser, please Contact us today.