As any professional in the industry knows, there are many situations in which laser safety windows can provide a significant benefit. They protect anyone exposed to laser from its harmful effects, making sure that the environment remains safe and secure even in high-risk situations.
But as you choose the right windows for your environment, it’s important to be sure that you find quality products in order to provide the best protection possible for your employees.
Understanding Your Options
When you are thinking about the perfect material to use for your laser safe windows, acrylic is it. These types of windows will offer you great clarity and durability, both crucial variables for any safety windows. In addition, they are scratch resistant, and can be custom made.
Acrylic windows have been around for a long time. They typically come in larger sizes, ranging up to two by three feet and even beyond. Finally, they are cost-effective, making them a great choice if you have to order in large quantities or work on a limited budget but don’t want to sacrifice safety.
Glass windows are typically small, often coming sizes like 6.5 by 6.5 inches. They can, of course, also be produced in custom sizes, but your limitations in size will be more significant than they would be for acrylic alternatives.
On the other hand, glass safety windows tend to provide the highest visual light transmission (VLT), and also protect ideally from optical density (OD). In other words, they are at once safe and easy to look through, especially compared to the generally darker acrylic windows.
Finally, glass has a higher melting point than acrylic, which means that it will withstand direct exposure to laser beams for longer. That, of course, only matters if you expect prolonged direct exposure. And that benefit comes with a price: especially given their smaller size, glass safety windows tend to be more expensive than their acrylic counterparts.
Ultimately, the choice between acrylic and glass comes down to your individual situation. Rather than simply recommending one over the other, it’s important to understand exactly what you need to succeed in what exactly you’re trying to do.
A number of variables can help you make that choice. Read more about these variables below, or talk to a safety expert (particularly with an expertise in laser safety) about your best choice in material.
4 Things to Keep in Mind to Ensure Safety
Regardless of which exact type of laser safety window you choose, it’s important to keep a few guidelines in mind that ensure you purchase and install a product that will reliably provide protection for you and anyone working in the same environment. Here are 4 things to keep in mind in order to make sure that’s the case:
1. Understand Your Needs
What exactly do you need laser safety windows for? The applications for this safety mechanism can vary wildly, from manufacturing facilities to medical environments. Depending on that situation, your need may differ, so it’s important to understand the variables that play into this purchase.
2. Conduct Thorough Research
Next, as is the case with any type of safety equipment, you need to conduct thorough research into your various options. Simply put, you don’t want to end up with windows that don’t actually provide the protection you need. Instead, inform yourself about the various safety ratings, window strengths, and other variables that might impact the quality of the product you’re about to purchase and implement.
3. Don’t Use Laser Safety Windows as a Replacement
Laser safety windows, no matter what you need them for, should never be used in replace of safety glasses or goggles. To protect your eyes from the harmful effects of lasers, you have to make sure that you specifically protect the most vulnerable part of your body. What they do provide is a general level of safety for any environment in which laser and UV light is used. Keep their intended purpose restricted to this use, and you will greatly improve the security and protection they’re designed to provide.
4. Talk to an Expert
When purchasing laser safety windows, it makes sense to talk to someone with extensive experience in helping you find exactly what you need. Some facilities, for example, employ (or consult with) a laser safety officer, who is responsible specifically for helping to make decisions like this. You can also get in touch directly with the manufacturer and seller, who tends to have some idea about the types of windows you need for your situation.
Finding the Right Laser Safety Windows For Your Needs
Purchasing laser windows for your safety needs is not a decision you should take lightly. The variables included, and the potential harm done if you choose wrong, all call for a thorough process that makes sure you find and buy the right product for your individual needs.
Complicating that goal is the fact that there are many options to consider when it comes to laser safety windows. Because you have so many choices in terms of material, strength, size, and more, you might get confused by what exactly you need to help keep yourself and your employees safe. For help in achieving that goal, talk to your laser safety officer, or contact us. Given our extensive experience in the field of laser and general industrial safety, we can help you find the exact products you need.