Engraving lasers burn away layers of material such as glass, wood, rubber and metal in order to make an engraving. This process releases various gases, vapours and particles that can affect the quality of an engraving or damage the laser. These fumes can also cause long-term medical conditions if inhaled by the operator.
Health and safety regulations demand that operators of equipment that produce hazardous fumes are protected. One answer to this particular problem is a fume extraction system that connects to the engraving laser.
In the past, laser owners may have connected a fume extraction system that takes hazardous fumes from the laser and discharges them into the atmosphere outside. This has several drawbacks.
To install an external discharge system can require the hiring of specialist companies to drill holes through walls or ceilings, they may also need to install additional pipe systems. If the vent is to go through the roof then scaffolding may be required and a roof stack would have to be installed and secured. All this can be expensive, time consuming and disruptive to work. It may also be impossible to discharge fumes outside, for example if the building is rented or the laser is say, in the middle of a shopping centre or office block.
Any holes made in the walls or ceiling would need to be properly sealed to prevent water leaks and if the laser is moved to another room then the holes would have to be sealed up completely and re-drilled elsewhere. Discharging the fumes outside may also cause complaints from neighbours or the environmental authorities. There is also the risk that fumes may re-enter the workplace through open windows and doors.
Discharging air from the workplace to the outdoors can also increase energy costs as heated or conditioned air will be pumped outside.
The alternative to discharging fumes outdoors is to use an extraction and filtration system such as the Xbase™ from Purex International Ltd.
The Xbase connects to the engraving laser in minutes using a short length of flexible hose and extracts hazardous fumes using powerful flow controlled blowers. The fumes are then drawn through a patented, specialised filter system before clean air is returned to the workplace. Because the Xbase returns air to the workplace there is no need to cut any holes for ducting in walls or ceilings and no heated or conditioned air is lost.
The Xbase is easy to move around, so if the laser moves, the Xbase goes with it. It is quiet in operation and because no holes in walls are required it is ideal for use in shops, malls, kiosks, schools, engraving workshops and offices.
Another added bonus is that many lasers available on the market can sit on top of the Xbase meaning an additional laser stand is not required. The Xbase also has storage space inside it that can be used in a variety of ways.
The extraction rate is fully adjustable so problems like drag marks on the work can be avoided and the system can be configured to filter fumes from most engraving materials.
The Xbase is available from Purex or a worldwide network of stockists, for more information visit the website www.purexinternational.com