The answer is almost always, YES! When using a laser, we must be aware of the dangers of operating one. A laser beam by itself would have a classification that is created by evaluating the power, wavelength, and other factors that can cause harm to the user. Class 4 lasers are the most hazardous lasers because they can cause permanent damage to the eyes or burn the skin. These lasers would be regulated to follow specific guidelines to prevent an accident.
For example, most marking lasers alone would be classified as a Class 4 laser. Some manufacturers will place their lasers in an enclosure to protect the operator but not all enclosed lasers have the same safety controls. If this enclosure has been designed correctly, the laser can have its classification lowered.
HOW TO DECIDE IF A CUSTOM LASER ENCLOSURE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Because of the hazards, some manufacturers will develop a laser enclosure to protect the operator from the laser beam, but not all safety measures are the same. The enclosures can be built in a way that classifies the laser as a Class 1 laser. Class 1 lasers are very safe but there is a higher safety that can be achieved through CDRH classification. The CDRH classification is the safest classification with the highest safety measures beyond just enclosing the laser. With this classification, it is impossible to create any safety issues unless the safety measures are bypassed or defeated. Another safety factor to look for is if the enclosure is 21 CFR 1040.10 certified. Some lower-quality laser manufacturers skip critical safety features that are critical for a safe laser system.
HOW DO YOU MAKE YOUR LASER SAFE?
With the CDRH Class 1 enclosure, your laser could have a window with glass specifically designed to block the wavelength of the laser beam. This glass allows the operator to see the marking of the laser without the potential of damage to the eyes. The glass should be certified for the wavelength and optical density of the laser.
Our ICS 9 Interlock system is designed to block or shut off the laser beam in the event that a door is opened or if there is a need to access the area where the beam can fire. The interlocks are connected to a shutter in the laser enclosure so that in the event of a trigger, the shutter will drop to block the beam. In a CDRH class laser, there is a dual safety shutter circuit to protect against failure. This backup circuit will protect against any possibility of the laser light escaping from the laser when the door is open.
Another safety concern is the gasses that can come from marking certain materials. In a
well-built enclosure, there will be a ventilation system that is designed to remove the gasses directly where the laser meets the part and expels fumes to a filter system that cleans the contaminates. This is essential, especially when marking plastics. RT can provide a solution to all of these safety concerns by working with you to provide a custom 'Turnkey' solution!
RT Technologies, Inc. designs, supplies, and installs Class 1 Laser Product and Laser Control Area (LCA) enclosures for high-power lasers used in industry and research.
Custom Laser Enclosure Projects are designed and managed by our team of laser safety experts. Each project is managed by a Certified Laser Safety Officer (CLSO). The custom laser room is manufactured by our team of production professionals. All laser enclosure projects are routinely reviewed with customers at key milestones.
Still have questions? Please get in touch with us using the button below or by calling us at 770-332-0092. We are confident we can provide you with a turnkey custom laser enclosure whatever your application may be!