Very fast growth of the high power laser processing devices may be observed in last decade (welding, surface processing). These lasers have up to few kW of optical power and work within infrared range being invisible for human eye, which makes it very dangerous and harmful. A single human error may blind people even in few hundreds of meters range or lead to severe 4th order burns (bones and internal organs) as the infrared radiation is strongly penetrating human tissues. Despite the fact, there is lack of adequate protection device which may ensure safety operation for several kW lasers. Currently, curtains may provide protection for very low power densities and thick metal protective shields are used. However, this is mainly passive protection - it is assumed that someone will turn off the laser source before the radiation will penetrate the shield. Unfortunately, in case of high power densities (up to several kW/cm2) the shield penetration time may be very short and not enough for live and health-saving reaction. The project objective is to finalize the development of a novel active flexible protective curtain against high-power laser radiation and to develop a corresponding pilot production method. The active curtain can be simply connected to the laser safety control system. In the case of unintended irradiation above a defined threshold, the electronics will initiate an instant automatic laser shut-down. Thus, this solution will help to avoid industrial injuries and to ensure the occupational safety of the employees outside the laser processing area. Novel active curtain will be provide low-cost and flexible (i.e., lower weight, easy to transport) protective approach compared to existing solution. It will also enable new application of the high power laser processing, as it will be easier and cheaper to ensure safety operation especially in large industrial sites (e.g., shipyards).
Project is cofinanced by Polish EU regional funds.