Laser cleaning removes rust, paint, oxide, and other impurities from metal surfaces in an environmentally acceptable manner. People employ this technology in an expanding variety of applications because of its efficiency.
It is time-consuming in traditional industrial cleaning processes. So, rust removal may be time-consuming and labor-intensive in this case. People might use hazardous chemicals to remove oxides, depending on the substances. Sandblasting to remove paint may sometimes harm the metal underlying.
Typically, dealing with these issues is expensive, but laser cleaning is changing that: it is a cost-effective option that decreases cleaning times and upkeep.
How Laser Cleaning works
The laser cleaning technique uses nanosecond-long laser light pulses to clear a surface. When it comes into contact with impurities that absorb laser light, the contaminants or coating particles either convert into a gas, or the pressure of the encounter causes particles to fall off the surface.
Laser cleaning is unrivaled in its capacity to clean your product’s bare metal when used with the proper laser settings and equipment. Adapt laser specializes in the knowledge and implementation of this process solutions to create the perfect recipe for your circumstance. Once we’ve found the right combination of settings and equipment, we can apply it to different setups and get the job done while maintaining the integrity of the surface we’re cleaning.
Laser Cleaning Steps
The Laser Cleaning technique was the first to use lasers to remove particles from substrates. Some academic and industry research organizations have already presented this cleaning process’s experimental, characterization, and computational findings.
The process focuses a short-pulsed laser beam towards the substrate to remove. The fast thermal expansion, thermomechanical wave propagation, and out-of-plane acceleration caused by the substrate’s laser pulse excitation excites the substrate and removes the particles.
The contamination absorbs laser light’s and heats up very quickly
The thermal expansion creates an inertial force by the high-frequency acceleration and wave propagation phenomena. Suppose the created inertial force surpasses the overall adhesion force, which is composed of multiple independent forces such as van der Waals, electrostatic, and capillary forces. In that case, it may shake off the particle stuck to the substrate.
The substrate acceleration produced by the thermoelastic field created by the irradiation of the short-pulsed laser is the primary principle of this way of sub-micrometer particle removal.
During the irradiation of the short-pulsed laser in the out-of-plane direction, until it attains the peak fluence of the beam, the substrate reaches its maximum acceleration value owing to substrate thermal expansion.
The temperature difference causes the contamination to shrink off
Now, the thermal situation presses the particle down due to the positive acceleration, which increases the contact diameter and the strain energy stored in the deformed particle.
After the surface starts to decelerate, removal is possible. Due to the linearity assumption of thermoelastic effects, the magnitude of the surface acceleration is proportional to the fluence level. It’s inversely proportional to the laser pulse’s squared duration.
However, if the laser fluence reaches a particular threshold, thermal and mechanical damage to the surface may result. It’s also worth noting that the procedure exposes the surface to a lot of electromagnetic radiation.
What material it can work on and what it can not
The cleaning of metal components is the most prevalent use of laser cleaning. Other materials, however, are acceptable.
The contaminated layer, such as rust, paint, or dirt, becomes very heated and evaporates with this process.
A laser beam operates similarly to a regular light beam in most cases. It implies that reflecting or white surfaces have a more challenging time heating up than dark ones.
They reflect the majority of the light, but a dark surface absorbs the light beam’s energy and does not reflect it as well—heating results from the absorption of this energy.
Fortunately, the majority of the polluted layers are black and non-reflective. Consider corrosion, old coatings, and old paint coats. As a result, they will absorb the laser beam’s energy, heat up rapidly, and finally evaporate. That’s why laser cleaning has difficulty removing a shiny or white covering.
Based on the properties of various materials, we can determine which are ideal for laser cleaning. Every non-dark substance can withstand a small amount of heat. Steel, inox, cast iron, aluminum, wood, polymers, composites, stone, certain kinds of glass, and chrome coatings are just a few of the materials that come to mind.
Benefits of laser cleaning
When it comes to cleaning, laser cleaning provides various options and benefits, but it is also a technology that is environmentally friendly. Laser cleaning is ecologically friendly since it doesn’t release any gases into the atmosphere and generates significant quantities of garbage.
It has a significant benefit over other thorough cleaning techniques, such as chemicals or sandblasting. The following are some of the advantages of laser cleaning:
The Laser Cleaning Machine has the lowest running expenses of any laser type due to its ultra-low power consumption.
Safe for Environment
Laser Cleaning Technology eliminates the need for consumables, making the laser cleaning procedure ecologically friendly.
The Laser Cleaning machine is lower in weight than other handhelds and offers the quickest cleaning speed. It helps you save both time and money. On the other hand, laser cleaning technology is one of the most sophisticated technologies of the twentieth century.
You may employ this new technology in various sectors with high-temperature and high-pressure conditions, including aerospace, automotive, military & defense, power generating, nuclear facilities, and maintenance & repair facilities, to name a few.
Aluminum, anodized aluminum, alloy metals, stainless steel, mild steel, copper, brass, non-transparent plastics, plaques, and other surfaces may be cleaned, ablated, prepared, and primed with it.
Reduction in Waste Products
Laser cleaning is a non-contact procedure that eliminates just the materials we don’t desire. Laser cleaning creates fewer waste products than any other cleaning procedure since it does not use abrasives or secondary components. The process reduces process expenses as a result of fewer waste products.
This machine is practically maintenance-free since it does not need optical machine alignment, laser servicing, or replacement components.