What Is Rust And Why Do Metals Rust?
Rust is the common name for the chemicals that result when iron reacts with oxygen and water. “Rust” is poorly defined in chemistry, however—lots of chemicals can be formed when iron is left exposed. However, we generally refer to the red, flaky look that results from certain chemicals as rust.
Corroding iron or steel produces many different compounds in regular environmental conditions. Some of these chemicals will be black, blue, yellow, gray, or brown, depending on what molecules they grab from the environment while rusting. For example, acid rain that contains sulfur can combine with iron to create molecules of pyrite, the yellow mineral called “fool’s gold.” These minerals are not what we think of as rust at all. What we usually mean is some type of iron oxide , one that is red or red-brown in appearance.
Why Metal Rusts
For starters, only metal that contains iron will rust. The most commonly used metal that contains iron is steel. Metals that don’t contain iron, like aluminum and titanium, will not rust .
Rusting is an electrochemical process that reduces iron-containing metals into their natural, unrefined states. This process can be accelerated by adding heat, certain minerals, and chemicals.
Think of it as a natural way of putting our junk back in the ground.
Rust is a type of oxidation. Oxidation is a fancy word that describes a loss of an electron by a reaction with a molecule, atom, or ion.
Iron and oxygen have opposite charges, so they’re attracted to each other (kind of like magnets). When they contact each other in the presence of water, they combine. The iron atom loses three electrons and the oxygen atom gains two atoms. This is that loss of an electron that we talked about. Iron is just too giving.
This forms the molecule Fe2O3, which is scientifically known as ferric oxide. The rest of us just use the nice and easy word “rust”.
Common types of metal corrosion
Metals corrode in different environments through different processes. The simplest form of corrosion occurs when metals react to moisture and air at their surface. In saline environments, the presence of chlorine in the salt can accelerate and moderate this process. In acid rain, sulfur compounds can be responsible.
Saline environments also facilitate a slightly more complicated process called galvanic corrosion. In galvanic corrosion, two types of metals with very different electrical potentials come into electrical or physical contact in an electrolyte bath, such as seawater. The more passive metal, the cathodic metal, draws electrons from the active or anodic metal. This chemical reaction is a form of corrosion that also forms the basis of electrochemical batteries.
The newly-charged molecules in the anodic metal stabilize themselves by combining with molecules in the environment, usually making oxides or other minerals. In steel, those oxides are rust.
Aluminum is one metal that usually is protected by a passive film during corrosion. However, aluminum can be quickly corroded to failure if bolted with stainless steel screws, due to galvanic corrosion. The steel screws, on the other hand, will be more resistant to rust! The anode’s provision of a steady stream of electrons prevents corrosion in the cathode metal. For this reason, sometimes “sacrificial anodes” are attached to metal that will be exposed to the sea, like on a ship’s hull, to electrochemically help protect the ship’s membrane.
Pitting corrosion is the term for corrosion that does not occur uniformly across a metal’s surface. Instead, small holes appear in the metal. These areas of faster corrosion are usually due to the failure of the “seal” on the material, whether that be a man-made sealant such as paint or powder coat, or the passive film sealant of a top-layer of corrosion. The passivation layer might fail if there are inclusions in the metal, or the alloy isn’t uniform. Metal is a crystalline structure made of grains, and there are different phases of those grain structures. If the chemistry is irregular or deformed it can cause spots that are more vulnerable to corrosion, and even create galvanic corrosion throughout the body of what is the same metal.
What is laser rust removal?
Laser rust removal, a type of laser cleaning, is an effective process for cleaning up metal parts. Using a fiber laser cleaning system, rust and other contaminants can be quickly and completely removed without damaging the metal underneath.
Laser rust removal is a great alternative to manual and chemical cleaning methods since rust is removed with greater precision and lower recurring costs. It’s also a great way to reduce your environmental impact.
The Laser Rust Removal Process
During the laser rust removal process, laser pulses are applied on the surface of a material to expel contaminants, leaving the substrate material clean and free of damage. Every material has an ablation threshold, which means that it has a heat at which chemical bonds are broken. When this is applied to cleaning or rust removal, laser operators essentially use vaporization to remove unwanted residue from a material’s surface.
While using a laser to clean or remove a certain compound from a material, it is possible to selectively target one material, leaving the second surface undamaged. Using a strong and weaker power burst can help you to remove rust even faster.
How Laser Rust Removal Compares to Competitive Processes
While many classic car restoration projects require a wired brush and a grinding wheel to remove unwanted rust and paint, using a laser rust removal system can provide an effective alternative. Not only does laser rust removal cut down on the manual labor that’s associated with removing rust, it also keeps more of the part intact than a wire and/or grinding wheel. And it even reduces the amount of time that’s required to complete each part, which makes it a good process for industrial applications.
Rust removal can also be achieved by the application of chemical components or electricity. But laser rust removal stands out in its ability to accomplish each task quickly, and with minimal distortion.
What exactly is a Laser Rust Removal Machine?
Laser rust removal machine is a type of manual laser cleaning machine composed of fiber laser generator, laser rust removal gun, and laser cleaning system, which uses pulsed laser or CW (Continuous Wave) laser to irradiate the metal surface, and the coating layer can instantly absorb the energy of the focused laser, so that the rust, coating or oil on the surface can be stripped instantly or evaporation, high-speed and effective removal of the coating attached to the metal surface, laser rust removal, basically will not damage the metal substrate. Laser rust removal machine is also known as laser rust removal tool, laser rust cleaning machine, laser rust cleaner, laser rust remover, laser rust removing tool, laser rust removing machine, laser descaler machine.
Laser rust remover can solve problems that cannot be done by traditional rust removal methods. Even if it is special-shaped metal parts, laser rust cleaning machine can also perform rust removal operations. In short, wherever laser can be irradiated, the rust, oil stain, paint layer, or oxide layer on the surface can be removed.
How Does Laser Rust Removal Machine Work?
Laser rust removal machine transmits the laser beam generated by the laser generator to the laser rust removal gun through the laser cleaning system, and scans the metal surface by the laser beam from the laser rust removal gun for rust cleaning.
Laser rust removal can be understood as a deeper level of laser cleaning. There are two main methods of laser rust removing. One method is to use clean substrates and surface attachments that have very different absorption coefficients at a certain wavelength of laser energy. Most of the laser energy irradiated on the surface is absorbed by the surface attachment, which makes it heated or evaporated, or rapidly expanded by the vapor flow formed on the surface and driven away from the surface of the object to achieve the purpose of cleaning. However, since the laser light absorbs very little energy at this wavelength, the substrate is not damaged. Selecting the appropriate wavelength and controlling the laser energy is the key to achieving safe and efficient cleaning. The other is a laser rust remover for cleaning substrates and surface attachments.
The laser energy absorption coefficient is not much different, or the substrate is sensitive to the acid vapor formed by the coating heat, or the coating will produce toxic substances after heating. This method typically uses a high-power, high-repetition-rate pulsed laser to strike the cleaned surface and convert part of the beam into sound waves. The returning portion of the sound wave hits the underlying hard surface, interfering with the incident sound wave produced by the laser, producing a high-energy wave that causes the coating to explode slightly. The coating is milled, pressed into powder, and then removed with a vacuum pump without damaging the underlying substrate.
What does the laser rust removal machine do for you?
- Pre-welding treatment with Laser Cleaning
As a highly selective procedure, laser rust removal is the fastest way to enhance the quality of any welded piece. With the rust and dirt deposits wholly removed. The amount of porosities in the welding joints diminishes significantly, and the scale is two or three times smaller. As a result, the welds have a higher yield power, tensile strength, ductility, and fatigue life.
- Pre-coating treatment with Laser cleaning
If you are welding the components until you paint them, the oxides must be cleaned to protect the coating from weakening over time. The same needs to apply if the substrate is shiny prior to the coating operation. The laser cleaning procedure absolutely prevents corrosion, ensuring that the coated components are of excellent quality.
What Is the Process of Using a Laser Rust Removal Machine?
The laser rust removal machine sends the laser beam generated by the laser generator to the laser rust removal gun via the laser cleaning system, and the laser beam from the laser rust removal gun scans the metal surface for rust cleaning.
Laser rust removal can be thought of as a more advanced level of laser cleaning. Laser rust removal can be accomplished in two ways. One approach is to use clean substrates and surface attachments with very different absorption coefficients at a specific laser energy wavelength. To achieve the purpose of cleaning, the majority of the laser energy irradiated on the surface is absorbed by the surface attachment, which causes it to be heated or evaporated, or rapidly expanded by the vapor flow formed on the surface and driven away from the surface of the object.
The substrate is not damaged, however, because the laser light absorbs very little energy at this wavelength. The key to achieving safe and efficient cleaning is to select the appropriate wavelength and control the laser energy.
The other is a laser rust remover, which is used to clean substrates and surface attachments. The laser energy absorption coefficient is not significantly different, or the substrate is sensitive to the acid vapor produced by coating heat, or the coating produces toxic substances after heating. A high-power, high-repetition-rate pulsed laser is typically used in this method to strike the cleaned surface and convert a portion of the beam into sound waves. The returning portion of the sound wave collides with the underlying hard surface, interfering with the incident sound wave produced by the laser, resulting in a high-energy wave that slightly explodes the coating. The coating is milled, pressed into powder, and vacuumed away without damaging the underlying substrate.
What Is Laser Rust Removal Gun?
Laser rust removal gun includes a gun shell, a galvanometer scanning component and an iris component. The laser generated by the laser generator is scanned by the galvanometer to form a linear light spot, which is emitted from the square light exit hole of the iris to the object to be cleaned. , the whole constitutes an optical output channel. The adjusting diaphragm can slide along the length of the light-emitting hole on the fixed diaphragm, and then change the light-emitting length of the light-emitting hole to make it consistent with the size of the linear light spot, so as to prevent the returning light from entering the gun shell during the cleaning process. The laser rust removal gun has the advantages of simple structure, convenient use, and can process any high-reflection profiles. It can be adapted to different types of laser generators. At the same time, the contact between the optical components in the laser rust cleaning gun and the outside world is closed to avoid pollution.
In addition to being used for handheld laser cleaning, laser rust removal guns can also be installed on moving mechanical devices (such as robots, manipulators, and CNC machines.), and the mechanical device automatically completes the preset motion trajectory. Its advantages are high precision, large-scale operation, and low technical requirements and labor intensity for operators.
The Benefits of Using a Laser Rust Removal Gun
Using a hand-held laser rust removal gun design, it can flexibly respond to various objects and angles. Straight gun design: Good accessibility, compound ergonomics. Lightweight design: The weight is less than 1KG, which is more conducive to long-time handheld operation.Dust-proof and sealed design: Independent modular design of the optical path, sealed and dust-proof.Removable dust suction port: Independent detachable dust suction port design with flexible adjustable height and angle.Standard cable with 6m length, longer is available for optional.
Advantages of a Portable Laser Rust Removal Machine
Traditional rust and scale removal methods include physical rust removal methods, such as sandblasting, polishing, scraping devices, additional blowing, and wire brushing. There are also chemical methods, such as removing the oxide layer with alkaline or acidic chemicals. However, these methods not only cause environmental pollution, but also damage the base metal. In order to avoid these shortcomings, laser cleaning has become the preferred method for descaling and descaling operations.
Rust laser cleaning machine without chemical agents and mechanical grinding, no pollution to the environment, no damage to the workpiece. Laser rust removal is fast and safe, and can be used for rust removal of all kinds of metal materials. High working efficiency, high degree of automation, simple process, no need for follow-up treatment, greatly improve the work efficiency, reduce the labor intensity of workers, to solve the production cost.
Advantages of hand-held laser rust removal machine
1. Precise and controllable: the rust removal area and the thickness of the rust removal are precise and controllable;
2. The rust removal quality is uniform: uniform and consistent during the life of the laser;
3. Intelligence: easy to detect and control, and the process is intelligent;
4. No damage: only remove surface contaminants, no damage to the substrate；
5. Convenient operation: non-contact, handheld, and automatic cleaning;
6. Green and environmental protection: no chemical reagents, no noise；
7.Focusing cleaning: when cleaning the uneven workpiece, the hand-held laser cleaning head can adjust the focus up and down for cleaning, producing a uniform cleaning effect.
The laser rust remover is generally a machine. The workpiece is placed in a fixed position of the machine to remove rust. The rust removal process has limitations. There are often dead corners that cannot remove rust. The general laser rust remover can only remove small workpieces. Rust, the part beyond the working range cannot be derusted, and handheld laser derusting equipment can also perform derusting work on equipment that is not convenient to move. The laser cleaning equipment launched by Senfeng Laser is a new generation of high-tech products for surface cleaning, easy to install, operate and realize automation. Simple operation, turn on the electricity, turn on the equipment, that is, clean without chemical reagents, medium, dust, and water. It can automatically focus, clean the surface and clean the surface. It can remove resin and oil on the surface , Stains, dirt, rust, coating, plating, paint.
Applications for Portable Handheld Laser Rust Cleaning Machine
What Is the Price of a Laser Rust Removal Machine?
The portable handheld laser cleaning machine cost depends on different configurations and features.The price of 1000W handheld laser cleaning machine starts from $8500.00. The price range of 1500W portable laser cleaner is from $9600.00. The minimum cost of 2000W high power portable laser cleaning machine is $120,000.00.Even if the configurations are similar, the costs from different manufacturers are not the same. Because the cost not only involves configurations, but also includes shipping, brand, after-sales service, and other factors.
How Do I Use a Handheld Laser Rust Remover?
Precautions Before Use
1. Make sure that the power socket is in good contact and the ground wire is reliably grounded.
2. Check and make sure that the cleaning head protects the lens inside and outside without dust.
3. Check and make sure that the buttons and switches on the whole machine are in normal state.
Basic Steps Step
1: Take out the external power cord and power up the device;
Step 2: Turn on the switch on the power socket (power filter, fuse, switch three-in-one socket);
Step 3: Turn on the button switch on the laser rust cleaning machine, the system is powered on and initialized;
Step 4: After the system is started, adjust the parameters of the laser machine through the laser power knob and laser frequency knob on the laser descaling machine (displayed on the display);
Step 5: After the laser parameter setting is completed, press the laser enable button on the laser machine, and the red indicator light of the button will light up after pressing the button (be sure to confirm the release state of the button switch on the hand-held handle before pressing the button);
Step 6: Put on the laser protective glasses, take out the hand-held laser rust removal gun inserted in the case by hand, aim the gun at the workpiece to be cleaned, press the button on the handle of the gun, and the gun can emit light for cleaning;
Step 7: The laser cleaning range can be adjusted on the gun;
Step 8: After use, turn off the laser rust removal machine, insert the laser rust cleaning gun back into the storage box, and unplug the power plug.
How do choose the different power of the laser cleaning system? 100W ?200W?1000W?2000W？
Choosing a laser welding system is always a difficult job for an Original equipment manufacturer. Handheld held or Integrated rust removal laser of 1000 to 2000 Wattage helps the rust to evaporates. High power(1000 to 2000W)system is the most effective, precise laser cleaning solution of rust and oxidation for OEM.
Its very simple to see that the oxidation layer above the large metal surface absorbs the high watt energy and converts the solid thick rust layer directly into a gaseous state. The high wattage laser won’t affect the metal underneath, leaving a highly polished surface ready to be painted and welded.
The Laser rust cleaning system uses short pulses of laser radiations. The laser of 1000w to 2000 W power produces microplasma buries along with thermal pressure and shock waves to sublimate the rust and separate it from the metals. It won’t evaporate the human flesh.
These Lasers are 3-axis laser cleaner systems, Used for Heavy duty. These lasers are integrated into Automation to clean huge parts and where the part rotation and part handling is difficult. Automatic cleaning of metal on Curve surfaces and shapes.
The high-power Portable Laser Cleaning Machine extends cleaning from the floor to the field. An Industrial 2000 watt laser cleaning machine is applicable for the removal of rust from the metal surface. They are applied to surfaces of bridges, airplanes, heavy cars, trains, tire frame rust cleaning, laser mold cleaning.
It makes the entire rust removal process very simple and easy. Unfortunately, there is a rather large drawback, that is the cost. These lasers are specially developed, and they cost around High Power (1000W-2000W) : $440,000 – $700,000.
Laser for wattage 100 to 200 is used in slow operations where the rust removal is applicable only in a small area and where the paint is removed from the surface to apply a new paint coating over the surface. These Lasers are not recommended to integrate into automation, as their power and frequency have limitations.
High-speed cleaning of rust is not possible with this laser system. Therefore in many places, it is available as a handheld machine. These lasers are cheaper but not very cheap. The cost of 100 to 200 wattage laser cleaning is around $105,000 – $160,000.