Laser cleaning machines are finding great applications in the industry today. It is often seen that rust, grease, and other such substrates form a layer with time over metals and non-metallic products. And with increasing time the laser rust cleaning and metallic parts cleaning technologies have evolved.
Laser Cleaner is a new generation of high-tech products for surface treatment. It is easy to install, operate, and automate. With simple operation, after giving powering supply and turning on the equipment, cleaning can be carried out without chemical reagent, medium, and water. The focus can be manually adjusted. Cleaning by fitting the curving surface, it makes high cleanliness and can remove the surface resin, paint, grease, stain, dirt, rust, coating, galvanization, and oxide layer. Besides, it is widely used in various industries, including ships, automobile repair, rubber molds, high-end machine tools, tracks, and environmental protection, etc.
How does Laser Cleaning Machine work?
All Materials Have an Ablation Threshold
Laser ablation occurs when a material layer or a coating is removed with a laser beam. This is the process behind all laser cleaning applications. Take laser rust removal on steel. When the beam hits the surface, molecular bonds in the dust or rust layer are broken and ejected from the substrate. In less technical terms, you can imagine that the layer to be removed is simply vaporized by the laser beam.
A simple way to grasp the importance of the ablation threshold is to compare it to throwing a ball over a wall. If you don’t throw it high enough, it will never make it over to the other side. Even if you throw the ball a thousand times, you will always fail. The same applies to laser derusting. You can shoot the laser beam a thousand times but as long as the energy is below the ablation threshold of the material you’re working with, nothing will ever be removed.
Now, every material has different properties and thus different molecular bonds. In other words, each material has a specific ablation threshold. To successfully remove a layer from a given material, the energy transferred by the laser beam must be above the ablation threshold of that particular material.
It is Possible to Remove a Material in a Highly Selective Way
Let’s continue with our analogy. Imagine there was a second, higher wall behind the first one and that a ball was thrown with just enough energy to make it over the first wall, but not enough to make it over the second. The ball would bounce off the second wall and fall in between the two walls. Once again, no matter how many times you throw the ball, you will always get the same result. You will make it past the first wall but never the second.
Since there is an ablation threshold for each material, laser cleaning can discriminate between two or more materials when trying to remove an undesired layer from an object. Given a sufficiently large ablation threshold difference between the materials, it is possible to select a material to be removed (i.e., the one with the lower ablation threshold) while leaving the other material untouched.
For example, the rust ablation threshold is much lower than the threshold for common metals like steel and aluminum. The same goes for paint and oil. This vast gap between two values allows contaminants and coatings to be completely vaporized without any risk of damaging the base material underneath. There’s just not enough energy for damage to happen.
A Strong and Short Power Burst Means Faster Removal
You can think of laser ablation as similar to carving stone with a hammer and a chisel. You can use a small hammer and do many small hits on your chisel. Or, you could just as well use a bigger hammer to leverage more power, hence reducing the required number of hits and increasing the removal speed. The idea is the same with laser cleaning, except that you only want to remove a layer of material: the contaminant.
Fiber laser cleaning systems can remove any given layer using two different methods. Either the laser beam is a continuous wave of light, or it is pulsed at a given repetition rate. Even if the result is pretty much the same, the removal speed varies a lot according to the method.
For a given surface area, putting the same energy within a short pulse increases the power. It’s like using the bigger hammer. A pulsed laser beam is more efficient and provides a faster removal speed than a continuous beam. And while short laser pulses clean surfaces faster, they also ensure that the underlying material does not heat up too much.
It is Consumable-Free and Environmentally Friendly
As this cleaning method only uses a laser beam to vaporize the layer to be removed, there are literally no consumables with it. This is the beauty of lasers, which only need a power plug to be set and ready to go.
On top of this, lasers use no chemical products or solvents. This makes laser surface cleaning one of the safest solutions when it comes to rust and coating removal. Not only is there no chemical waste to take care of, but employees are totally safe when working near laser cleaning machines, which are designed to meet international laser safety standards. Employees won’t need personal protective equipment and won’t have to handle those pesky chemicals.
That being said, since laser cleaning vaporizes materials into fumes, you should have a fume extraction system near the laser to ensure that no paint, oil or dust particles are released into the air.
Advantages of using laser rust cleaners in your industry
There are multiple benefits of using laser machines for rust removal from your products. This will not only help you in speeding up your process of production/repair but also will give you a cost-effective solution.
Here are a few other benefits of the laser cleaners for metallic rust and non-metallic substrates:
- The method of laser rust cleaning is largely automated and easily controllable from a remote location. Furthermore, the automation and integration with the existing systems provide an easy and tech-savvy investment for businesses.
- The laser cleaning process is chemical-free. This makes laser cleaning methods as much safer to use in the foods and medicine industry.
- The chemical composition of the material does not change with laser cleaning. This makes laser cleaning technology the first choice for cleaning chemically safe containers.
- There is no need for the application of high-pressure blasting mechanisms to rub out the rust.
- The final product after laser cleaning is much finer than other methods of cleaning.
- Total manpower and working time are reduced manifolds. Thus, saving you time and money at the same time.
- Precise and spot cleaning is easier with laser cleaning methods Moreover, with laser cleaning it is easier to reach the corners and nooks of complicated design objects.
- It is easier to manage the laser cleaning machines than the conventional methods of cleaning.
Industrial Applications of Laser Cleaners
Laser cleaning technology is widely in use in a number of different industries. Initially, it was majorly used in the metallic and metallic manufacturing industry. However, in recent times, with the advent of modern laser systems, the technology also finds its application in non-metallic material cleaning.
- Surface Cleaning
This type of cleaning is for the removal of rust from the top surface of the material. Usually, surface cleaning is the widest application of laser cleaning machines. Cleaning activities like paint removal, degreasing, and restoration of the material are all types of surface cleaning.
The rust removal using laser rust removing cleaners is widely found in the heavy metals manufacturing industry. DE rusting or deoxidation is required very often in most of the heavy metal and manufacturing industries. Therefore, the rust cleaning laser is the ideal choice for such industries.
Another major application of surface cleaning with laser cleaning machines is laser spot repair. In this method of cleaning only spots of impurities/rust need to be removed from the surface of the material.
Thus, with the use of laser cleaning machines, you can easily clean spots of rust from the material without engaging other parts of the unit. Moving on, degreasing is another major type of surface cleaning that can be accomplished by using laser cleaning methods.
Usually, in the manufacturing and repair of mechanical parts, there is an accumulation of moisture/dirt and grease. This mixture forms a deposit on the surface of the material and impacts its functionality. In order to remove the greasy parts, laser cleaning technology can easily remove the dirt parts and clean the material.
- Cleaning of Moulds
Cleaning mold is a very difficult task otherwise. However, with laser cleaning machines, you can easily reach every nook and corner of the molds and clean them of any impurities.
This type of cleaning process is widely used in the food and consumption industry. Because most of the food items need to be packaged in extra clean environments. Therefore, the ideal choice of cleaning the containers with speed and accuracy is by using the laser cleaning process.
Furthermore, the medicine industry also maintains high standards of cleanliness in containers which is an ideal application of laser cleaning systems. Cleaning rubber molds is perhaps the biggest cleaning challenge in the industry. It is because the rubber is not firm and also has absorption properties.
Hence, a cleaning method is required which cleans the dirt without affecting the mold itself. Laser cleaning technologies offer the best solution for cleaning rubber molds, where no material is damaged and the chemical composition of the mold is maintained even after the cleaning.
- Cleaning Welds
Welding leaves behind surface deposits that need to be removed for the final furnishing of the product. Therefore, laser cleaning machines play an important part in the removal of weld spots for cleaning the unit.
Laser cleaning is suitable for almost all types of metallic alloys and the treatment of their welds. Therefore, it works wonderfully well with aluminum alloys, stainless steel, and other hard metal and their alloys. Thus, you can easily clean the weld spots from the surface of the materials. All of this can be achieved at great speed.
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