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Laser Cutter Safety Comprehensive Standards Guidelines

Whether you are buying laser cutting equipment from China or your own country, from small power 1kw-30kw metal laser cutting machines, you will see obvious laser titles on the equipment to remind you to pay attention to laser cutting safety, such as class 1 laser. In addition, many laser cutting accidents have been caused by incorrect operation.

This article will focus on the description of laser safety program.

laser cutting metal

Laser cutting machine type

Two types of CO2 and optical fibers.

Co2 is mainly used for non-metallic glass, acrylic, fabric, leather, etc.
Fiber optics are mostly used in sheet metal.

Laser cutter safety precautions 

In the face of continuous high temperatures and intense rainfall in summer, laser cutting machines will inevitably malfunction during use.

In summer, laser cutting machines will experience some malfunctions during use. Effective maintenance can not only avoid minor malfunctions, but also improve cutting efficiency and improve the mission life of accessories. This article discusses the anti-condensation of lasers, the waterproofing of machines, lightning protection, fire protection, and the maintenance cycle of equipment to answer your doubts.

Pay attention to prevent condensation on the laser

Condensation can cause damage or even failure of the laser’s electrical and optical components. This will reduce the performance of the laser and even cause damage to the laser.

In order to avoid condensation on the laser, it is best to equip the laser with a dedicated air-conditioned room, and the best setting is “dehumidification state 23°C”.

laser cutting machine metal

Condensation can cause damage to optical lenses:

  • The cooling temperature is lower than the ambient dew point temperature, which will cause condensation on the inner wall of the processing head and the optical lens.
  • Using auxiliary gas with a temperature lower than the ambient dew point will cause rapid condensation on the optical lenses.

Routine maintenance of water cooler

During typhoons or heavy rains in summer, we must pay attention to the waterproofing of laser cutting machine equipment and try to ensure that the machine does not soak in water. If it is unavoidable, be sure to disconnect all power supplies and cover the equipment as tightly as possible from top to bottom with waterproof materials to reduce losses.

Prevent lightning strikes from damaging the laser cutting machine.

  1. If possible, stop the laser from working during thunderstorms and cut off the power supply.
  2. If work is required during thunderstorms, it is necessary to ensure that the grounding of the

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fiber laser cutting system

Laser risk assessment example

  • Improper use can cause laser cutter fire
  • No ventilation can cause smoke, so use the best exhaust fan
  • Electrical safety issues

Laser radiation effects on human body

Laser cutting health concerns are mainly reflected in the eyes and skin:

  1. Effects on the skin: Lasers can damage the surface tissue of the skin, which may cause skin redness, pain, allergies, rashes, scarring and other problems.
  2. Effects on the eyes: Direct exposure to the eyes can cause a significant decrease in vision, and in severe cases, it can lead to retinal detachment and even blindness, with serious consequences.
    Therefore, when using laser cutting equipment, pay attention to laser cutter radiation.

PPE for laser cutting

Technical operators should wear laser cutter safety glasses when operating, as well as to ensure the safety of the eyes, and also wear safety masks and protective clothing.
Wear laser safety glasses when welding and cleaning.

laser fiber cutting
laser fiber cutting

Safety guidelines

OSHA laser safety officer training requirements

OSHA Source: (www.osha.gov/otm) is an international organization responsible for workplace safety in the United States. There is currently no uniform international specification. It relies on ANSI Z136.1 (a recognized industry laser standard) and FDA/CDRH requirements for laser manufacturers.

American ANSI develops industry consensus standards in various fields. The ANSI Z136 committee has published seven standards for the laser field. Lasers are divided into four main hazard categories (1, 2, 3a, 3b, and 4), depending on the biological damage caused by the laser.

Use AEL (the maximum laser radiation value endured by the glasses/skin) to delineate different grades of lasers – all standards, whether domestic or foreign, are classified by AEL.

  • Class 1 lasers are not subject to all beam of light hazard control measures, and have little harm to the human eye and skin without considering any laser protection measures.
  • Class 2 lasers are continuous-wave and repetitive-pulse lasers with wavelengths between 0.4μm and 0.7μm (i.e. 400-700nm), which can emit energy exceeding Class 1 AELs for less than 0.25 seconds and no more than Class 1 AELs, and have an average radiated power of less than or equal to 1mW.
  • Class 3a lasers with wavelengths less than 0.4μm or greater than 0.7μm cannot emit an average radiation power greater than 0.5W.
  • Class 4 laser products exceeds that of Class 3b. The ANSI Z136.1 (2000) standard is now being revised and improved. The safety measures and specific hazards of each class of laser (except Class 1 lasers) are not explained in detail in this standard. With the development of lasers, the damage of laser power and energy has also changed.

IEC

IEC (us.azbil.com)is the global organization responsible for preparing and publishing international standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. IEC document 60825-1 is the main and well-developed standard outlining the safety of laser products. Source: https://us.azbil.com/uploadedSpecs/PQQRRXLASERTEC-e3RD.pdf
Classification is based on a comprehensive calculation of parameters including beam of light divergence angle, laser type, emission duration, limited aperture, etc., and is determined together with the ANSI standard, but the IEC standard also adds observation conditions for various types of laser products:

  • Class 1 lasers are very low risk “safe within a reasonably foreseeable range of use” and use optical instruments for in-beam observation of light.
  • Class 1M lasers with wavelengths between 302.5 nm and 4000 nm are considered safe unless used and observed with optical aids such as binoculars.
  • Class 2M lasers have wavelengths between 400nm and 700nm and are potentially dangerous to observe with optical instruments. Any emission outside this wavelength range must be below the AEL level of the 1M class.
  • Class 3R lasers have a potentially hazardous range of 302.5 nm to 1060nm, but the risk factor is lower than that of Class 3B lasers. For wavelengths between 400 nm and 700 nm, the AEL of 3R lasers is within 5 times that of Class 2 AELs, and the wavelength outside this range is within 5 times that of Class 1 AELs.
  • Class 3B lasers are generally dangerous, but they are generally safe when subjected to diffuse reflection.
  • Class 4 lasers are dangerous when viewed in beams of light and when diffusely reflected. They can also cause skin injuries and pose a potential fire threat.
metal laser cutting

Maintain

For any CNC equipment, as the use time increases, some small losses will occur in the components, large and small. The main components of the laser cutting machine can be divided into five types: light source system, dust removal system, transmission system, cooling system, electrical system.

Therefore, the main parts that need maintenance in daily life are: cooling system (to ensure constant temperature effect), dust removal system (to ensure dust removal effect), optical path system (to ensure beam quality), and transmission system (focus on ensuring normal operation).

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FAQ

Are Laser Generated Air Contaminants (LGAC’s) harmful to humans?

Laser Cutters will produce Toxic and Corrosive Fumes. For safety reasons, it is best to wear laser safety glasses, a protective mask, and protective clothing.

Do I need to purchase Exhaust Systems separately?

The laser cutting equipment itself is included and attached to the bed.

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