Laser fume extractors capture hazardous fumes and particulate at the source before entering the operator’s breathing zone or soiling the laser system. Fume extraction systems are available in different configurations including exhaust port connection, multiple exhaust port connection, and standalone source capture. Exhaust port connection models mount directly to the laser system with a flame-retardant flexible hose. Multiple exhaust port connection units connect to multiple exhaust ports on one unit, or one port on two or four nearby systems. Standalone source capture fume extractors don’t directly mount but stand next to the unit to extract fumes with a flexible arm. These laser fume extractors provide fume and particulate control for laser systems used in industrial, commercial, medical, and laboratory applications.
Laser fumes are produced when a high energy laser beam comes in contact with a substrate such as metal or plastic. The heat from the laser beam provokes the material to release smoke or a plume of laser fumes. The high temperature expands the surrounding air creating airborne microscopic particles. These microscopic particles can become lodged deep within the lungs causing long-lasting health effects.
The main types of laser systems include CO2, fiber, and Nd/Nd-Yag (or crystal). CO2 laser systems create the laser electrically fueled with CO2 and widely used for laser cutting and laser marking due to the ability to manipulate a wide variety of substrates such as metal, wood, plastic, acrylic, and many more. Fiber lasers systems have a seed laser amplified by glass fibers and work best for etching metals, coated metals, and plastics. Lastly, Nd/Nd-Yang or crystal laser systems use pumped diodes to mark metals, plastics, and sometimes ceramics.
A wide variety of laser system applications produce laser fumes including laser cutting, laser engraving, laser marking, surgical procedures, and cosmetic procedures such as laser hair removal. Laser fumes can cause drastic health hazards as well as damage to the laser system and the laser itself. The contaminants produced from the process depend on the material. See the chart below for a list of common laser emissions by the substrate according to Carnegie Mellon University’s Environmental Health and Safety Department.
Polyhydrocarbons, Toxic Gases
|Cyanide, Nitrogen Oxides|
Benzene, Toluene, Xylene, Cresol, PAHs
MMA, Acetone, Formaldehyde, Phenol, PAHs
HCI, Possible Phosgene, Benzene, Trace Dioxins/Furans and PCBs
|Wood||All Wood including MDF and Plywood||Soot, Benzene, Formaldehyde, Acroleinm Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)|
Portable Floor Sentry - 200 Series | 300 Series | 400 Series | 500 Series | Rugged Air
Mounted Fume Extractors - 200 Series | 300 Series | 400 Series
Multi-Operator - Dual 200 | Dual 300 | Dual 400 | Dual 500 | Quad 300 | Quad 400