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Product Code: ILSC2007_802

Evaluating Alternate Laser Safety Barrier Materials: A Case Study
Thomas Block, Rutgers University; Piscataway NJ USA
Presented at ILSC 2007

There are a wide variety of commercially manufactured laser barrier and curtain materials available to establish controlled areas and to contain any diffuse or reflected beams produced by laser systems. However, there may be circumstances where alternate laser barrier and curtain materials might be acceptable for certain applications and conditions of use instead of commercially available materials. While the ANSI Z136.1 standard establishes protective barrier and curtain performance criteria, it does not define specific testing criteria to evaluate alternate materials.
This presentation describes a case where the author was asked to evaluate the suitability a curtain material for use as a laser barrier in a life sciences research laboratory. The author describes the evaluation criteria and testing methods used to assess this material with respect to flammability, combustion byproducts, and beam transmission. In addition to the test results, the author identifies other issues associated with testing alternate laser barrier materials.

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