The latest generation of handheld laser welders and cleaning systems are fast, easy to operate and produce high quality, consistent welds across a range of different materials and thicknesses. However, you must not overlook the required safety and personal protection measures whilst capitalising on these productivity gains.
When using a Class 4 laser welder it is imperative that you use a suitable Class 4 enclosure. Lasermach have designed a standard “plug and play” range that provides this safe working environment: it's "PhotonSAFE" Series..
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When it comes to safety and efficiency, using a laser welding enclosure around a Class 4 handheld laser welder is a must. A laser enclosure is designed to contain laser radiation and prevent it from reflecting off of any surfaces, making the workspace much safer for everyone.
A laser enclosure provides an environment that has been specifically designed to contain and control the use of laser radiation. This includes features such as warning signs, safety interlocks, fume extraction, and shielding to ensure the protection of personnel and the surrounding environment. These areas are designed to minimise the risk of potential hazards associated with laser radiation, such as fire and burns to the skin/eyes.
Access to a laser enclosure should be limited only to those authorised and qualified to ensure the safety of all involved. Lasers can be dangerous and can cause permanent eye damage or even blindness, as well as skin and clothing burns. Unauthorised personnel, who may not be aware of the laser's potential hazards, may inadvertently introduce safety risks, such as forgetting to turn the laser off or tampering with the enclosure or its contents. Additionally, qualified personnel are better able to identify potential safety issues, and know how to properly operate, maintain, and repair the laser.
As the laser welding enclosure provides a localised area to work in extraction must be considered. Extraction is used on a laser welding enclosure to remove fumes, dust, and smoke from the welding process. This helps ensure the safety of personnel and a clean, organized working environment. Additionally, extraction helps ensure the welding process’s accuracy by removing any particles that could interfere with the laser beam.
One of the most immediate risks of not using proper extraction is respiratory health effects. When welding with a laser, hazardous gases and particles are released into the air, and without effective extraction, these contaminants can easily be inhaled. Over time, this can lead to serious respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, and even cancer.
Lasermach can quickly design, construct and install modular, Class 1, room-sized enclosures that meet global laser safety requirements (as outlined in IEC 60825-4 Safety of Laser Products Part 4 – Laser Guards).