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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    9

    laser exhaust smell

    Could somebody here point me in the right direction.I cut plastic,foam,neoprene etc with a laser and the exhaust from it smells horrible outside.The people around the plant are complaining about the smell.We do have two 20x20 debris filters and 4 20x20 carbon mat filters inline with exhaust ductwork outside.People around the plant have even called the dep.I have talked to our heating and ac contractor and he has never dealt with anything like this. The heating and ac contractor that buillt the system doesnt have any idea on where to go from here.Any suggestions.Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Austell, Ga.
    Posts
    1,296
    Quoting someone "Far" more informed on this than I, I will let his printed words stand for your scrutiny...

    (From: Leonard Migliore (lm@laserk.com).)
    One big area of hazard is that CO2 lasers are used for material processing. They do a great job of cutting plastics. Unfortunately, the by-products of laser processing of organics generally include very hazardous materials. Carcinogens such as benzene and PAH's (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are typically generated in reasonably significant quantities. Certain materials have even better surprises: You get cyanide out of Kevlar and HCl out of PVC. It's hard to handle this stuff, and the associated solids tend to clog filters. Don't cut plastic (any kind) without a fully-enclosed system that exhausts into scrubbers.
    Ain't "None" of us as smart as "All" of us..

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Dallas,Texas
    Posts
    4,985
    I have several customers that periodically cut plastics with their lasers, usually Lexan. That stuff stinks and makes a nasty mess in the shops. One shop vented the laser exhaust out the roof.
    The exhaust contains a very fine dry particulate. I think carbon is going the wrong direction as it is more for absorbing organic compounds. Perhaps something in the direction of water to knock the particulate down and then filter the water.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Dallas,Texas
    Posts
    4,985
    Hey Richard....don't hear from you near enough these days.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Ont.
    Posts
    516
    All the sites I have with nasty by-products are using RTO's or RCO's to incinerate the fumes. Not sure if it's what you need or not, just what came to mind. Certainly not cheap but it's sometimes a necessary measure to keep the environmentalists off your back.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regener...ermal_oxidizer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    9
    Will a water scrubber take care of the smell.Or would burning the smell off be better.The particulants are not that bad we can go a week with the filter setup we are using now.Its really the smell outside that is the problem.Thanks again

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    In a mechanical room....
    Posts
    1,888
    Think restaurant kitchen hood with make up air, or paint booth, or target it by taking the fumes away close to the point of contact by removing a high velocity suction.
    “It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”

    - E.E. Cummings

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Windsor, Ont.
    Posts
    516
    Most scrubbers are good at particulate removal but not as effective on fumes, additionally a scrubber will leave you with contaminated water that you have to deal with in an environmentally friendly matter.

    Best to have your Health and Safety department look into what you are truly dealing with including labratory testing before making an informed decision on the correct course of action.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Austell, Ga.
    Posts
    1,296
    [QUOTE=wolfdog;8212751]Hey Richard....don't hear from you near enough these days.

    Hiya' Wolfie...Being "Officially" retired now but in a "Non-working" advisor like capacity, I cannot pull on chains...only allowed to push on them, I still get around a few job-sites. The only real interest I have now is how to rig a Ballyhoo' properly so I can get my gettum' there quick, overpowered, overequipped fishing boat in the Atlantic and start pulling up some of the deep water Tuna that thrive there from November to June..Before the big Blue absorbing us into its fold, "Y" bought me an underwater camera so I can see what the heck is down there without putting on the overpumped tanks and going down 150' or so...My luck will be a Mako or Tiger will gobble up my 1lux' camera on the first try with it...Did I mention it was a high res. color job...Nothing too good for big "Y"..LOL
    Ain't "None" of us as smart as "All" of us..

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