Laser Welding Safety
Fast and precise with small heat-affected zones and high mechanical strength in the welded seam, the benefits of laser welding are manifold.
However, all lasers are dangerous to a degree. With laser welding (like traditional welding) the eyes are at particular risk. Yet, worryingly, the subject of protecting the eyes from damage is one of considerable confusion.
Eyewear or safety curtain?
Some laser welding system users think that safety eyewear is all that’s required. It isn’t and in the case of safety eyewear, run of the mill welding glasses are certainly not the answer.
Laser protective eyewear needs to be tailored specifically to the wavelength and power of the laser beam. An easy way to find the right safety glasses for your laser at the right price is to visit our LASER SAFETY GLASSES WIZARD.
Laser beam light especially in the infra-red spectrum is often reflected. Without safety curtains to contain the infra-red, people in the vicinity of the laser are vulnerable to damage of their optic nerves before they even have a chance to blink.
If any member of staff suffers injury due to lax safety procedures, the HSE has the authority to close down the operation. In addition, because the correct procedures have not been followed, insurance cover can become null and void.
In laser welding, it’s not only the eyes that are at risk. Laser welding generates air contaminants including major toxins such as chromium and cobalt depending on the materials used.
To ensure a stable and high quality weld, the working area can often be flooded with argon gas. Like the contaminants generated by the laser welding process, this gas needs to be removed by extraction once the welding process is over. To carry out this successfully requires not just the right extractor for the job but a correct positioning of that extractor. TLM’s specialists can help you set up your extractor in the optimal position.
Laser related fires and explosions have resulted in injury and property loss. A laser can come into contact with flammable items, causing them to ignite and then spread the fire to surrounding materials. Fire is a risk that underlines the need for extraction.
The extraction process itself can also create danger through sparks being drawn into the extraction unit and igniting debris that may have accumulated in the filters.
Our product partners, BOFA, offer protection over and above their extractors’ fire retardant filters in the form of an inline FireBOX. If the temperature within the system exceeds a pre-set level, the FireBOX will activate the isolating valves and switch off the power to the extraction unit. If the fire is still not suppressed and the temperature rises further, an internal fire extinguisher will then be activated.
TLM can provide all you need to make laser welding safe with Univet Safety Glasses and Windows, Safety Curtains and BOFA fume extraction systems including the FireBOX MA self-extinguishing inline pre-filter.
For further details and help and advice on any laser safety issues, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org