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Product Code: ILSC2007_303

Qualification of Personal Protective Equipment for the Use of Hand-held Laser Processing Devices
Authors:
Thomas Puester, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.; Hannover Germany
Oliver Meier, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.; Hannover Germany
Andreas Ostendorf, Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.; Hannover Germany
Dirk Wenzel, Saechsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V.; Chemnitz Germany
Hendrik Beier, Saechsisches Textilforschungsinstitut e.V.; Chemnitz Germany
Presented at ILSC 2007

Hand-held laser processing devices are constantly finding new applications. Starting with precision welding, now systems are available for cutting, welding, cladding, hardening and cleaning. They are used in the automotive, engineering and tool making industry, and are currently tested in the shipbuilding industry.
The safety of hand-held laser processing devices is a fundamental requirement. However, a number of questions related to both the safe design and the safe use of the devices still have to be answered. In 2005, a research project was started to test and qualify personal protective clothing for the use with hand-held laser processing devices, and to define minimum safety requirements for laser protection. In a first step, a number of different market available technical textiles and leather, used as heat and flame protection textiles for e.g. welders, workers exposed to heat/flames and racing car drivers were tested. Also, typical work clothing and leisure wear (from cotton) has been comparatively examined. The investigations cover different test methods and critera to evaluate the behaviour of the protective system, such as transmission of laser radiation, flammability, hole formation and subsequent beam penetration and heat transfer to the skin. To assess skin hazards, the results are compared with MPE (IEC 60825-1) and the Stoll/Chianta criterion for a second degree burn (blister).

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