If you’ve ever laser cut, soldered, or welded, you know all too well how these processes release plumes of smoke containing intensely toxic gas and fumes that can be extremely harmful if inhaled. These fumes can contain arsenic, lead, manganese, carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, carbon monoxide, and other toxic materials from the electrode and/or material being welded.

Consequently, effective laser cuttingsolder, and welding fume removal techniques are essential to worker safety (fume extraction systems are included in OSHA’s Hierarchy of Controls for managing fume and you can read the administration’s regulations here). Fume extractors (like our 6000EX) are a necessity and the most effective method for laser cutting, solder, and welding fume removal.

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A lasers operation process is achieved by directing the output of a high-powered laser through optics. This laser beam will melt or burn the material in which it is directed at. Lasers have various capabilities when it comes to precision, materials, and type of cut. While lasers remain one of the most beneficial machines for precision and, sometimes, time efficiency, understanding the fumes these machines emit is more beneficial than the machine itself.

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Types of Welding & Their Respective Fume Production

There are four different types of welding, all of which release toxic fumes and gas. However, some welding processes release more than others. In decreasing intensity, they are:

  • Flux Core Arc Welding – filler metal electrode; flux shield
  • Shielded Metal Arc – electrode provides both flux and filler material
  • Gas Metal Arc – widely used; consumable electrode for filler material, external gas shield
  • Tungsten Inert Gas – superior finish, non-consumable electrode; externally-supplied inert gas shield

Laser Cutting Fumes

Three types of lasers have become common for cutting: fiber lasers, C02 lasers, and Nd and Nd-YAG lasers, with C02 lasers being the most popular of the three.

Just like with welding, harmful chemical vapors, aerosols, or smoke can be emitted when using a laser to cut materials like steel, stainless steel, titanium, wood, plastic, and much more. Laser cutting fume extraction systems (that is, both local and ventilation systems) are paramount in laser fume removal and, ultimately, the protection of workers.

Other materials and their respective fume emissions include:

  • Kevlar: Respirable dust
  • Polycarbonate: Respirable dust and Cresol
  • Rubber: Respirable dust and 1,3-Butadiene
  • Mild steel: Iron oxide, NO, NO2, CO
  • Stainless steel: Nickel, Chromium
  • Nimonics: Cobalt, Chromium, Nickel

For more information on laser cutting hazards and how to combat hazardous particles, check out our blog: The Hazards Of Laser Cutting Without Fume Extractors.

Solder Fumes

Although on a much smaller scale, soldering still releases toxic contaminants that can pose serious health risks if not managed properly. Solder fume extractors are just as important in the protection of workers as welding and laser cutting fume extraction systems are for their respective processes.

6000EX Laser Cutting, Solder & Welding Fume Extractor

For effective welding fume removal, our 6000EX fume extractor is designed to draw solder and weld fumes away from the worker’s breathing zone and to keep your facility clean. Because of its size and capability, it can take the place of several smaller systems, making it the perfect solution for use in larger industrial and manufacturing facilities.

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The Equipment You Need

Industrial Vacuums

We manufacture our Hurricane™ line of Industrial Vacuum loaders and dust collection equipment for a variety of industries including abrasive blast recovery, roof rock removal, hazardous waste removal, steel mills and shipyards. We offer a variety of styles, including trailer mounted and skid mounted vacuums.

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Vactagon HEPA Shop Vacuums

Vactagon’s industrial shop vacuum systems are powerful, yet compact enough to be adaptable to any application.

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Dust Collectors

Designed for superior performance and available in sizes between 2,000 and 60,000 CFM, the Filt Aire™ series is among the most versatile, powerful and rugged industrial dust collection systems around.

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Committed to providing quality, high-production vacuums and service from our new 50,000 square-foot Wisconsin manufacturing facility, we design, build and field test every Industrial Vacuum machine to exceed the most stringent quality standards.

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We can supply machines to meet your special requirements, from 50 hp to 400 hp. Plus, we have more operational experience than any other manufacturer to use in training operators at your job site.

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Trailer-Mounted Industrial Vacuums

Increased power and output of more than 35% bridges the gap between truck and trailer mounted vacuum loaders without sacrificing the compact design, maneuverability and lower costs unique to trailer mounted units.

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