When lasers are used, materials are released into the atmosphere - they may be solid particles, gas or vapour. Failure to control these fumes could have consequences and shouldn’t be left to chance.
Cutting, engraving, coding, marking, engraving, welding… whatever laser process you are following, some form of contaminant is generated which can become airborne. Most are invisible to the naked eye.
Whether you’re running machinery in an educational establishment or a large-scale factory, all airborne substances must be considered potentially harmful:
To your equipment – uncontrolled fumes can potentially impact laser efficiency and may increase the risk of product contamination and unplanned downtime
To the users – the effects caused by inhalation or reaction to the particulate material can potentially be long-lasting
To the environment – responsible manufacturing needs responsible practices. We all need to look after the world we live in.
Particles and droplets can enter equipment through process or during mechanical intervention. The optical system of the laser is susceptible to damage from particulate getting burnt on or building up on the lens, which may compromise the efficiency of the laser and the quality of the output. With no extraction in place, there may not be any control over which direction those contaminants travel, and the machine’s performance and reliability could quickly become compromised. If left, over time, some contaminants can potentially cause irreversible and very costly damage.
Minimising or eliminating contaminants is essential to maximise optimum machine performance. It also helps reduce the amount of maintenance and cleaning requirements, and the risk of loss of product.
Give your equipment the best opportunity to perform its intended function.
Exposure to hazardous substances can potentially affect the body in many different ways and may cause problems for anyone who comes into contact with airborne particles.
Air purification can help to reduce the long-lasting impact of uncontrolled fumes. Personal protective equipment should not be considered a substitute for proper fume control. Simply venting unfiltered fumes through a window or wall may not provide an adequate solution and could be illegal.
The quality of our environment has a direct impact on our well-being. Capturing fumes and particulates and keeping them contained helps to keep the environment protected.
This extends beyond the immediate work environment as the deposition of airborne particles can potentially have a negative and long-lasting impact on the natural and man-made environment, which can cause physical and chemical degradation of materials.
What you can do
Practical steps can be taken by the employer to help reduce the level of risk created by uncontrolled contaminants.
Filtering fume from the working environment will help to maintain a clean, healthy working environment, as well as help to preserve the laser and nearby equipment.
Choose an extraction solution that is fit for the purpose, to help maximise efficient filtration.
BOFA has the answer
BOFA International is a multi-award winning world leader in portable fume extraction and filtration. Our unrivalled specialist knowledge of laser processes means we can help devise practical solutions for practical problems worldwide.
We have over 30 years of extensive experience providing reliable, high-quality solutions with a low lifetime cost of ownership. Whether you’re working with light-duty laser applications, small-scale industrial processes or high-performance systems, our solutions help to keep the world working across a wide range of sectors from FMCG and electronics to pharmaceuticals, education and beyond.