Emissions analysis for laser processed plastics

Scientists from Laser Zentrum Hannover (LZH) and Kunstoff Zentrum SKZ, Würzburg have compiled information on the emissions being released when laser processing plastics. The centre said this was crucial in guaranteeing the safety of the operators and the environment. The results are now available from the Safety Technology Group at the LZH or as part of the laser safety database on the institute’s website.

The two research institutes examined more than 100 chemical compounds for released particles and gases; the main focus of the investigation was on materials such as Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastics (CFRPs), PE, PP, PA6, or PC/ABS plastics.

Scientists aimed to identify the variables that were most influential to the emissions for individual processes and used this as the basis for emission reduced processing. A mobile measuring system designed by LZH was used to investigate equipment used for material removal, cutting, and welding of plastics to discover how laser output, processing speed, and other conditions influence the emissions from the material.

LZH’s device can be integrated into the processing equipment’s exhaust system to make measurements of the exhaust conform with guidelines and record direct results. LZH said it could also make subsequent evaluations according to the Technical Instructions on Air Quality Control (TA Luft). It continued to say that parallel to this, measurements of the workplace ambient air were taken, and the hazardous material concentrations  were compared to the workplace threshold levels (AGW) according to the Technical Guidelines for the Handling of Hazardous Substances (TRGS) 900/910.

The research project was supported through the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations ‘Otto von Guericke’ e.V. (AiF) within the framework of the Program on Supporting Industrial Collective Research (IGF) of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), based on a decision of the German Parliament.

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