Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Intelligent Protective Clothing for High-Output Lasers

07.06.2013
In an EU project under the leadership of the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH), passive and active protective systems for jackets, trousers, aprons and gloves are being developed. This clothing offers effective protection against laser radiation with output densities of up to 20 Megawatts per square meter.
Protective professional clothing for firefighters, for welders or for chemists is readily available on the market. Despite the wide use of lasers in industry and research, there is currently no suitable protective clothing for the user, and when it comes to hazards from intensive laser radiation, only suitable protective laser eyewear has been classified and certified.

It is also important to have safety clothing to protect the skin, especially for the increasing number of cutting and welding applications with hand-guided laser systems. Operators are often in the directly next to the interaction zone between the laser beam and the materials to be processed, and often high-power lasers are in use. Under unfavorable conditions, for example when highly reflective surfaces are being processsed, the laser beam may be quickly deflected towards the user, causing severe skin burns. Also, near infrared laser radiation may penetrate into deeper tissue, and damage blood vessels and other biological tissue.

Therefore, the laser protective clothing developed within the framework of the EU “PROSYS” project is pursuing two strategies. First, researchers have designed a passive system with multi-layer technical textiles. The top layer has a special coating which diffusely reflects the laser radiation as much as possible. Radiation which may penetrate this first layer is then evenly spread out by the middle layer. Any residual heat, at least for a limited amount of time, which enters the energy barrier of the inner layer, may trigger a pain sensation. “This is intentional. Users should notice that they are being exposed to hazardous radiation, so they have the chance to withdraw their hand or arm,” explains Michael Hustedt, Head of the Safety Group at the LZH, and coordinator of the PROSYS project. Normal reaction time is up to 4 seconds, and the passive system can protect users for output densities up to 900 kW/m2, making this protective clothing 20 times more effective than what is presently available on the market.

The effectivity of the protective clothing can be even further improved by integrating an active system, which uses sensors embedded in the different layers. If the sensors are damaged by radiation, they send an electrical signal to the laser in less than 100 ms, and the laser is automatically shut off. The operators’ movement is not impaired, since the active system uses a wireless communication system between the safety transmitter and the receiver for the laser. Since the complete shut-down of the laser may take approximately 80 milliseconds, a combination of the active sensors and the passive protection layers makes sense. This system offers protection against output densities of up to 20 MW/m2.

The international consortium, which is composed of three research institutes, nine SMEs and one large enterprise, has developed prototypes of the protective clothing, which have been presented at different industrial fairs this year (e.g. Hannover Messe, LASER World of Photonics). Plans are being made for launching the products on the market soon.

Further developmental work will be, above all, concerned with improving the active systems, making them even more robust and flexible, without losing their protective functions. Practical tests in an industrial setting should provide further information for improving ergonomics and wearing comfort of the protective clothing, in order to achieve high user acceptance. The focus of this work is, for example, on reducing the weight of the material and improving the haptic characteristics of the gloves.

The research project PROSYS-Laser was supported by the European Union within the 7th Research Framework Programme (project number NMP2-SE-2009-229165). The partners of the LZH are the Centre Suisse d´Electronique et de Microtechnique SA and the Sächsische Textilforschungsinstitut e.V., as well as the enterprises CIM-mes Projekt sp. z o.o., Trans-Textil GmbH, TTI Technische Textilien International GmbH, JUTEC GmbH, Grado Zero Espace S.r.l., Smartex S.r.l., TDV Industries, Promat International NV, Laser on demand GmbH and Clean-Lasersysteme GmbH.
Contact:
Business Development & Communications Department
Michael Botts
Public Relations
Tel.: +49 511 2788-151
Fax: +49 511 2788-100
E-Mail: m.botts@lzh.de

The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) carries out research and development in the field of laser technology and is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Transport of the State of Lower Saxony (Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Arbeit und Verkehr).

Michael Botts | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Further information:
http://www.lzh.de/en/publications/pressreleases/2013/prosys

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive
18.10.2017 | Osaka University

nachricht Think laterally to sidestep production problems
17.10.2017 | King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Osaka university researchers make the slipperiest surfaces adhesive

18.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Space radiation won't stop NASA's human exploration

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Los Alamos researchers and supercomputers help interpret the latest LIGO findings

18.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>