Some frequently asked questions.
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There are a few reasons that a blast shield is damaged. The most common is, without a doubt, contamination on the proximal (connector) end of the fiber. If there is enough debris on the face of the fiber when the laser is fired, the debris will absorb the energy and flash or burn. The subsequent plume of smoke and particles will contaminate the blast shield and etch the surface or “blow” the blast shield.
First, inspect the face of each fiber before it is mounted onto the laser and if needed clean the fiber of any debris. Second, use a fiber with a built in blast shield, such as Optical Integrity, Inc.’s ScopeSafe™ fibers. The built in blast shield protects against errant energy from mis-alignment or thermal lensing and cleaning the surface of the fiber at the connector will prevent flash back when the laser is fired.
Some research studies have indicated that fibers breaking in the working channel may be the most common of the reasons that flexible scopes are damaged. Optical Integrity, Inc. has found that errant energy launched into the cladding of the fiber because of laser alignment and thermal lensing is a major contributor to fibers breaking at the point of maximum deflection. In fact, Optical Integrity, Inc. invented and developed the ScopeSafe™ technology specifically to deal with this failure mode.