Laser protection class

Laser devices are categorised by protection class. Categorisation in one class depends on the possible damaging biological effect of laser radiation. There are national and international laser classes. The relevant categorisation criterion for these laser protection classes are the limit values for which there is no health hazard as well as other criteria like the quantity of non-ionising radiation and the thermal efficiency per surface, also the specific wave-length-dependent absorption features of the skin and the retina, cornea, eye lens and the vitreous body. Furthermore, the classification of lasers in protection classes is based on the maximum resulting power and energy densities. Relevant aspects in this respect are the exposure duration, the wave length or the laser type (continuous laser or pulse laser).

Until March 1997 in Germany applied the laser protection classes according to DIN VDE 0837, that are still applicable in the USA today. In the meantime, here lasers are categorised according to the European standard EN 60825-1. The classification in the respective laser protection class is done by the manufacturer.

Class 1

includes all lasers with a closed casing. These lasers are also those with maximum radiation limit for permanent radiation. This class includes subclass 1M.

Class 2

comprises all lasers in visible range with a radiation limit below 0.25 ms. This class includes subclass 2M.

Class 3R

comprises all lasers that do not exceed the 5th of the limit values of classes 1 and 2. Lasers in this laser protection class can cause eye injury if you are without eye protection.

Class 3B

includes all lasers with which looking directly into the laser beam is extremely dangerous and has irreversible consequences.

Class 4

comprises lasers emitting a diffusely dispersed radiation that can cause fire or explosion.

The laser protection class applicable in every case to our SmartRay laser sensors and scanners can be found in the pertaining data sheet.