Laser Safety Barrier
- Portable 5' x 6' (1.5 m x 1.8 m) Barrier
- ANSI and EN Certified*
- Modular Design with Coupling Strip for Connecting Barriers in Series
- No-Trip Design Base Eliminates Cross-Feet
- All Components are Stored Within Base
- Easy-to-Assemble Design Based on Our 25 mm Construction Rails
Laser safety barriers are an essential component in high-power laser labs where scattered light must be blocked to avoid the potential for irreparable eye damage. Our SB5X6 Laser Barriers are designed for use in labs with high-power CW or pulsed lasers. The barriers meet both ANSI and EN requirements for certification. For more details, including damage threshold levels, please see the Certification tab.
The 5' x 6' (1.5 m x 1.8 m) barrier is supported by a base with a footprint of only 60.2" x 12.3" (1.5 m x 30.8 cm). By not using cross-feet, the base eliminates the tripping hazard that many other laser barriers create. Mobility is provided via two fixed wheels on one end and two leveling feet on the other end. When one side of the barrier is lifted, it can be easily transported around your lab. When lowered, the leveling feet ensure that the barrier will remain stationary.
All construction components are stored in the base upon shipment. The barrier design is based on our 25 mm Construction Rails, which bolt together using locking collars and 1/4"-20 cap screws. The barrier material simply wraps around the construction rods and is secured onto the rods using hook and loop fasteners.
Couple Barriers Together
When a longer barrier is needed, multiple barriers can be connected in series with an included strip of laser barrier material. These strips attach to the barrier using hook and loop fasteners, making large barriers easy to build. If a different laser barrier configuration is needed for your lab, please contact our Tech Support team to discuss our custom capabilities.
To block both CW and pulsed lasers, these barriers consist of two different materials. Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for each type of material are available by clicking on the red Docs icon below. The interior of the barrier material contains fiberglass sealed underneath a coating. If the fiberglass becomes exposed, it may act as a skin irritant.
If the barrier material is damaged (i.e., by laser burns, physical tears, etc.), the curtain should be replaced immediately. Replacements can be ordered by contacting your local Tech Support office.
The barrier materials have been tested individually by a 3rd party using ANSI or EN specifications as applicable. Due to manufacturing variances, mechanical wear, and laser damage, Thorlabs assumes no responsibility for laser barrier failure. Please consult your laser safety specialist before purchasing to ensure that the barrier is suitable for your application. To minimize risk, inspect the barrier before each use and ensure that it is in excellent condition.
|Certification||Test Parameters||Damage Threshold|
|EN 12254:D||10.6 µm Wavelength (CW)||230 W/cm2|
|EN 12254:D||1064 nm Wavelength (CW)||175 W/cm2|
|EN 12254:1998, I, A7||1064 nm Wavelength, 200 µs Pulses, 20 Hz||47 J/cm2|
|EN 12254:1998, R, A6||1064 nm Wavelength, 7 ns Pulses, 20 Hz||-|
|EN 12254:1998, R, A6||532 nm Wavelength, 5 ns Pulses, 20 Hz||-|
|Information about ANSI certification is available upon request; please contact Tech Support.|
The barrier materials have been tested individually by a third party using ANSI or EN specifications as applicable. Due to manufacturing variances, mechanical wear, and laser damage, Thorlabs assumes no responsibility for laser barrier failure. Please consult your laser safety specialist before purchasing to ensure that the barrier is suitable for your application. To minimize risk, inspect the barrier before each use and ensure that it is in excellent condition.
Laser Safety and Classification
Safe practices and proper usage of safety equipment should be taken into consideration when operating lasers. The eye is susceptible to injury, even from very low levels of laser light. Thorlabs offers a range of laser safety accessories that can be used to reduce the risk of accidents or injuries. Laser emission in the visible and near infrared spectral ranges has the greatest potential for retinal injury, as the cornea and lens are transparent to those wavelengths, and the lens can focus the laser energy onto the retina.
Safe Practices and Light Safety Accessories
- Thorlabs recommends the use of safety eyewear whenever working with laser beams with non-negligible powers (i.e., > Class 1) since metallic tools such as screwdrivers can accidentally redirect a beam.
- Laser goggles designed for specific wavelengths should be clearly available near laser setups to protect the wearer from unintentional laser reflections.
- Goggles are marked with the wavelength range over which protection is afforded and the minimum optical density within that range.
- Laser Barriers and Blackout Materials can prevent direct or reflected light from leaving the experimental setup area.
- Thorlabs' Enclosure Systems can be used to contain optical setups to isolate or minimize laser hazards.
- All beams should be terminated at the edge of the table, and laboratory doors should be closed whenever a laser is in use.
- Do not place laser beams at eye level.
- Carry out experiments on an optical table such that all laser beams travel horizontally.
- Remove unnecessary reflective items such as reflective jewelry (e.g., rings, watches, etc.) while working near the beam path.
- Be aware that lenses and other optical devices may reflect a portion of the incident beam from the front or rear surface.
- Operate a laser at the minimum power necessary for any operation.
- If possible, reduce the output power of a laser during alignment procedures.
- Use beam shutters and filters to reduce the beam power.
- Post appropriate warning signs or labels near laser setups or rooms.
- Use laser sign lightboxes if operating Class 3R or 4 lasers (i.e., lasers requiring the use of a safety interlock).
- Do not use Laser Viewing Cards in place of a proper Laser Barrier or Beam Trap.
Lasers are categorized into different classes according to their ability to cause eye and other damage. The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is a global organization that prepares and publishes international standards for all electrical, electronic, and related technologies. The IEC document 60825-1 outlines the safety of laser products. A description of each class of laser is given below:
|1||This class of laser is safe under all conditions of normal use, including use with optical instruments for intrabeam viewing. Lasers in this class do not emit radiation at levels that may cause injury during normal operation, and therefore the maximum permissible exposure (MPE) cannot be exceeded. Class 1 lasers can also include enclosed, high-power lasers where exposure to the radiation is not possible without opening or shutting down the laser. |
|1M||Class 1M lasers are safe except when used in conjunction with optical components such as telescopes and microscopes. Lasers belonging to this class emit large-diameter or divergent beams, and the MPE cannot normally be exceeded unless focusing or imaging optics are used to narrow the beam. However, if the beam is refocused, the hazard may be increased and the class may be changed accordingly. |
|2||Class 2 lasers, which are limited to 1 mW of visible continuous-wave radiation, are safe because the blink reflex will limit the exposure in the eye to 0.25 seconds. This category only applies to visible radiation (400 - 700 nm).|
|2M||Because of the blink reflex, this class of laser is classified as safe as long as the beam is not viewed through optical instruments. This laser class also applies to larger-diameter or diverging laser beams. |
|3R||Lasers in this class are considered safe as long as they are handled with restricted beam viewing. The MPE can be exceeded with this class of laser, however, this presents a low risk level to injury. Visible, continuous-wave lasers are limited to 5 mW of output power in this class. |
|3B||Class 3B lasers are hazardous to the eye if exposed directly. However, diffuse reflections are not harmful. Safe handling of devices in this class includes wearing protective eyewear where direct viewing of the laser beam may occur. In addition, laser safety signs lightboxes should be used with lasers that require a safety interlock so that the laser cannot be used without the safety light turning on. Class-3B lasers must be equipped with a key switch and a safety interlock.|
|4||This class of laser may cause damage to the skin, and also to the eye, even from the viewing of diffuse reflections. These hazards may also apply to indirect or non-specular reflections of the beam, even from apparently matte surfaces. Great care must be taken when handling these lasers. They also represent a fire risk, because they may ignite combustible material. Class 4 lasers must be equipped with a key switch and a safety interlock. |
|All class 2 lasers (and higher) must display, in addition to the corresponding sign above, this triangular warning sign|