Thorlabs' laser safety fabric is designed to withstand high laser energy up to EN 12254:2010(E) certification with the flexibility to be cut into custom sizes to suit experimental needs. The LPCM1 laser rated material is made of a rubber compound fabric, which is the same material used to make our laser safety curtain panels. The certification levels in the table to the right are expanded in the Certifications tab above. The customizable nature of this fabric makes it ideal for creating window covers and building custom enclosures for experiments and optical systems. Please ensure that the cutting tool you are using is sharp in order to reduce frayed edges. The red laser safety label (right) is attached to each sheet of 1.6 m x 1.0 m fabric.
*DISCLAIMER The LPCM1 laser safety fabric has been tested by a third party using EN specifications; see the Certifications tab above for details. Due to manufacturing variances, mechanical wear, and laser damage, Thorlabs assumes no responsibility for laser material failure. Please consult your local laser safety specialist before purchasing to ensure that the fabric is suitable for your application. To minimize risk, inspect the material before each use and ensure that it is in excellent condition.
The LPCM1 laser safety fabric has been tested by a third party using EN specifications. Due to manufacturing variances, mechanical wear, and laser damage, Thorlabs assumes no responsibility for laser material failure. Please consult your local laser safety specialist before purchasing to ensure that the fabric is suitable for your application. To minimize risk, inspect the material before each use and ensure that it is in excellent condition.
Flame does not reach the test mark with the burner in position, and self-extinguishes after removal of the burner. Material does not continue to glow for more than one second after removal of the burner.
Samples do not exhibit any cracking, peeling, or degradation. For laser wavelengths, samples do not exceed maximum spectral transmission for scale number. Samples maintained optical density using both laser and spectrophotometer.
These certification levels are reproduced from EN 12254: 2010(E).
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.
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.
A fiber-pigtailed laser should always be turned off before connecting it to or disconnecting it from another fiber, especially when the laser is at power levels above 10 mW.
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.
Post appropriate warning signs or labels near laser setups or rooms.
Use a laser sign with a lightbox 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 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:
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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