Laser Safety Glasses question

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Hello all. I am buying a laser engraver for my business. The company I'm getting it from and the "industry" in general doesn't think I need safety glasses when operating it (most say cause the light isn't visible to the eye) . I don't personally feel safe with that assumption for my eyes or my wife's. Anyway on to my question....

Is any "light" the same that has equal wavelengths no matter the source? In my case 1064nm (fiber laser). Would 1064nm YAG laser light or CO2 laser light be equal to the fiber laser light (not accounting for power input and assuming they could actually produce the same wavelength).

Also how does frequency come into this? I though frequency was the wavelength but obviously not since the unit has a frequency output of 20khz-300khz. Would this be on/off pulses?

I know I'm not a student but I need some knowledge so I can make an educated decision to protect our eyes and I bet you guys and gals can probably answer my questions.

Just trying to make sure any glasses that protect for the 1064nm wavelength will work even though they don't say fiber laser specifically.

Specs on the unit (in case some needs to know)
Power(W): 30w
Wavelength: 1064nm
Laser frequency range : 20khz-300khz

Thank you in advance.

Neal W
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
berkeman
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Welcome to the PF.

Please post links to the datasheet and user manual for the unit. Please also provide links or quotes from the manufacturer that say there is no health risk. Does the unit have an enclosed area for the engraving with an interlock? That may be the basis for what they are saying. If there is an effective enclosure with an interlock switch, you may not need additional eye protection outside of the enclosure.
 
  • #3
ZapperZ
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WARNING, WARNING, WARNING!

Just because the laser isn't visible or in the visible range, it doesn't mean that it is safe! Whoever told you that a laser that isn't visible is safe needs to be spanked!

Technically, any Class 3 and above laser require the appropriate eye protection. In some places, one can't even use a Class 2 laser as a laser pointer. I find it extremely suspicious that the manufacturer and the vendor do not provide the safety requirement for the laser that you use, even if to clearly indicate that if used appropriately (i.e. the laser is operational only in an enclosed area, such as the laser in a CD player) it requires no protection, i.e. it needs to be in writing.

Otherwise, this is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Zz.
 
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Welcome to the PF
No sir it is not enclosed. It's an open head design and will have direct line of sight to the parts being engraved without anything in between. We looked at both enclosed and open heads and decided that an open head would work better for out business.
 
  • #5
berkeman
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You didn't do what I asked...

Please post links to the datasheet and user manual for the unit.
 
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WARNING, WARNING, WARNING!

Just because the laser isn't visible or in the visible range, it doesn't mean that it is safe! Whoever told you that a laser that isn't visible is safe needs to be spanked!

Otherwise, this is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Zz.
ZapperZ, I completely agree and that's exactly why I'm trying to cover my own butt. Heck I've even got to the expense to build a windowless room in the shop for it with external warning lights for when its in use so no one walks in on it by accident. Ive seen to many idiots stare at the torch light when TIG welding. I know they will want to stare at this. <rolling my eyes>.
 
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You didn't do what I asked...
No sir I didn't and I'm sorry but I won't because I am don't want to mention or reference the manufacture and have the possibility of them being "bad mouthed". I hope you can understand.
 
  • #8
berkeman
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No sir I didn't and I'm sorry but I won't because I am don't want to mention or reference the manufacture and have the possibility of them being "bad mouthed". I hope you can understand.
Well, okay I guess. What country are you in? How do you feel about this product being purchased, installed and used by other business owners (with employees) who are much less careful and knowledgeable than you?
 
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  • #9
Andy Resnick
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[snip]The company I'm getting it from and the "industry" in general doesn't think I need safety glasses when operating it (most say cause the light isn't visible to the eye) . [snip]
This is extremely disturbing (to me). In fact, because the light is not visible is *exactly* the reason you *need* safety goggles. If any company rep tells you differently, they are at best incompetent and at worst criminal.

[snip]
Specs on the unit (in case some needs to know)
Power(W): 30w
Wavelength: 1064nm
Laser frequency range : 20khz-300khz
As the kids say: OMG. That's easily a class 4 source that not only requires eye protection, but the room itself needs protective measures to turn the laser off if someone opens the door (it's called a room interlock).

I can't stress enough that the fact that you are asking these questions means your company needs to hire (or consult with) someone who knows basic laser safety standards.
 
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  • #10
CWatters
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You may also need fume extraction. Burning some materials produced hazardous fumes.
 
  • #11
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Thank you all for your replies and concerns. Admins please feel free to remove this post.
 
  • #12
sophiecentaur
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I know I'm not a student but I need some knowledge so I can make an educated decision to protect our eyes and I bet you guys and gals can probably answer my questions.
We should not be the source of the information you want. Any forum, however well informed the contributors may be, is only 'idle chat'. You should contact your local safety authority and your Insurers for approval and advice. One blinded employee with a good lawyer could close your company and you would need some good certification to deal with the problem.
Why are you worried about that company being "bad mouthed" if they deserve it?
 
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  • #13
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Who said I wasn't planning to consult with my insurers or locals ? .....I didn't ask what brand to buy, if its okay, do dogs bite, etc.......

I asked THESE two questions to learn something WHICH is physics related.....



Is any "light" the same that has equal wavelengths no matter the source? In my case 1064nm (fiber laser). Would 1064nm YAG laser light or CO2 laser light be equal to the fiber laser light (not accounting for power input and assuming they could actually produce the same wavelength).

Also how does frequency come into this? I though frequency was the wavelength but obviously not since the unit has a frequency output of 20khz-300khz. Would this be on/off pulses?



Obviously people are more concerned with trying to explain (in their opinion) what I should do legally thinking I don't have any knowledge on that. Can someone answer these two questions? I blame myself for including to much information in my original post. My father always said KISS when talking to people and I've never learned that lesson.
 
  • #14
davenn
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Is any "light" the same that has equal wavelengths no matter the source? In my case 1064nm (fiber laser). Would 1064nm YAG laser light or CO2 laser light be equal to the fiber laser light (not accounting for power input and assuming they could actually produce the same wavelength).
Yes

Also how does frequency come into this? I though frequency was the wavelength but obviously not since the unit has a frequency output of 20khz-300khz. Would this be on/off pulses?
Yes, most likely a form of PWM, pulse width modulation
It's common to pulse lasers to produce instantaneous peak powers much higher than a continuous power
without burning out the laser source.
The stated 30W laser may well be producing 300W or even 3000W (3kW) peak bursts

Dave
 
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  • #15
berkeman
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Thank you all for your replies and concerns. Admins please feel free to remove this post.
No, we do not delete threads that have useful replies.
 
  • #16
sophiecentaur
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Who said I wasn't planning to consult with my insurers or locals ? .....I didn't ask what brand to buy, if its okay, do dogs bite, etc.......

I asked THESE two questions to learn something WHICH is physics related.....
I think you have to fair about this. You gave no indication that you knew about or were considering the health and safety issues or the legal ones. PF has a policy that those two factors are important so they were brought up.
You asked a basic question :
Is any "light" the same that has equal wavelengths no matter the source?
And it was answered. I hope you have at least got something from this thread.
 
  • #17
berkeman
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I think the OP's questions have been answered now, and we have done our usual good job of emphasizing safety in the thread. The thread can now be closed.

Thanks very much for all of the quality replies in the thread. :smile:
 
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