Whether water has rusted the bulkhead of your aircraft or hazardous paint is beginning to chip from your equipment, you require a cleaning solution that is both safe and effective. Laser ablation uses precision cleaning to remove contaminants such as oil, rust, mold release agents, paint, and more — but how can you choose the right laser cleaner for your needs? Are there different types, and what should you know before you make a purchase?
What is Laser Cleaning Machine?
Laser cleaning machine is a type of laser ablation machine to irradiate and heat the surface material of the object with a CW (Continuous Wave) laser or pulsed laser and make it evaporate or sublime to achieve the purpose of removing the surface material. Laser cleaning machine is also known as laser cleaner, laser rust cleaning machine, laser paint removal machine, laser paint stripping machine, laser coating removal machine, laser rust removal machine, laser oxide removal machine, laser dirt cleaning machine, laser oil cleaning machine, laser descaler machine.
There are two most common types of laser cleaning machines: One is CW fiber laser cleaning machine, another one is pulsed laser cleaning machine.
CW fiber laser cleaning machine uses handheld clean head with continuous laser source. The advantage of CW cleaning machine is high cost performance. If you have low requirements for laser cleaning and only remove rust or thin paint of stainless steel, mild steel and iron, the cost effective CW laser cleaning machine can meet the requirements.CW laser cleaning machine powers support 1000W 1500W 2000W.
Pulsed laser cleaning machine is equipped with pulse laser source and galvo clean head. If you have high-value products need to clean and without harm the base materials, that must be use pulsed laser cleaning machine system.Laser cleaners are designed for laser degreasing, laser paint removal, laser zinc removal, laser film removal, laser coating. Laser cleaning machines are mainly used for rust removal from metal surface, paint removal treatment, plating, coating removal, oil, stain, dirt cleaning, and rubber mold residue cleaning.
There are four main types of laser cleaning methods:
1. Laser dry cleaning method, which uses laser direct radiation to decontaminate.
2. Laser + liquid film method, that is, first deposit a layer of liquid film on the surface of the substrate, and then use laser radiation to decontaminate.
3. The laser + inert gas method, that is, while the laser is irradiated, an inert gas is blown to the surface of the substrate. When the dirt is peeled from the surface, the gas will be blown off the surface immediately to avoid re-contamination and oxidation of the surface.
4. After using the laser to loosen the dirt, clean it with non-corrosive chemical methods.
The most commonly methods used in laser cleaning solutions are the first 3 ways. The fourth method is only seen in the cleaning of stone cultural relics. No matter what method of surface treatment is used, be sure to pay attention to laser safety.
The laser cleaner is automated and easy to setup and use. The operation is simple, turn on the machine to perform cleaning without chemicals, media, and water. It has the advantages of cost effective, manual adjustment of focus, high speed surface cleaning, and high cleanliness of the surface. It can remove resin, oil stains, stains, dirt, rust, coating, plating, paint on the surface of objects.
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.
How to Select the best Laser Cleaning Machine?
Currently, there are cleaning machines with different power of the laser. The selection of power of laser depends on the material that you want to clean and the amount of rust or dirt there is on the surface of the material.
Furthermore, you will have the option of selecting the machine size, portability, and price when you will decide the best laser cleaning machine suitable for your business. Here are a few things to look for when choosing the laser rust cleaning machines:
The laser cleaners usually come in 3 power categories. Although the exact specifications vary from machine to machine, however, the power categorization will give you a general idea about the machine that will best suit your requirements. With the increase in power, it increases the speed of rust removal and the amount of rust.
The low-power laser cleaners range from 20W to 100W power laser. This type of power is ideal for light rust removal and the speed is not of the great matter here. Furthermore, it is also ideal if you have a relatively small set-up where the batch handling is not very large.
Another benefit of using the low-power laser cleaner is the cost reduction of the machine. Thus, if you want to keep your spending low then this is the ideal machine for you.
The medium power laser cleaners usually range from 200W to 300W. These machines are ideal for the removal of medium levels of rust/grease from the materials. However, one important thing to note is that due to the higher power of the laser, it produces more heat.
Thus, there is a requirement for an effective cooling mechanism with the laser. You need to check with the vendor/manufacturer the cooling mechanism in place for the cleaning operation. If the cooling mechanism is not effective, then your machine and the product both will suffer.
The high-power laser cleaners are for handling absolute heavy-duty metals. These machines come in the category of 350W, 500W, 1000W, or even up to 2000 W in some cases.
However, because of the increase in power, the price of these machines is very high. Therefore, you will only choose these machines if you have a large production/repair unit where heavy-duty metals operate.
The other category that you need to check is the mobility of the machine. Laser cleaners for rust majorly come in 3 categories of configuration.
A lot of laser cleaning machines are available in a portable format. These portable machines do not weigh more than a few Kilos (approximately 15 kg) and the size is also small enough to fit in a suitcase. This type of machine is ideal for cleaning items that are away from the production/repair line.
Moreover, the compact type machines are ideal for creeks and nooks cleaning of equipment that are inaccessible by normal approach. When purchasing such a machine you need to check its integrity with your existing conveyor system as a few machines do not have the integration option and then you will suffer from the after-sales.
Machine fixed system is ideal for conveyor belt style maintenance/repair features. This is where the products are moving on a belt and the fixed machine is cleaning a specific portion of the machine.
The fixed system gives great stability with the cleaning of parts and keeps the laser cleaner steady. Thus, it produces accurate results and cleans with efficiency.
The cabinet system or this type of machine has a design to maximize the protection of the staff operating the machines. These machines have enclosures where you can place the material to clean and then you can remotely operate the laser to clean the unit.
Price of the Laser Rust Cleaning Machines
Another important factor in the selection of the best laser cleaning machine is the price of the machine. The price of the laser cleaners varies a lot depending on the size, power, and technology of the machine. The lowest machine with the most basic facilities for $ 8500-$12500 on AliExpress.
However, this is the basic price range. As you go for more advanced options and better laser manufacturers like P-laser. Other international manufacturers like laser photonics also offer great laser cleaning machines.
However, the ultimate price will be final once you have the exact specification of requirements for your business. However, in case you are feeling confused by so many specifications to look for our team of experts at Sinbadlab can effectively guide you with the selection of the best laser cleaning machines.
Risks Of Using The Wrong Laser
While our laser solutions are considered one of the safest and most effective forms of application cleaning, using the wrong laser is not only dangerous for your product, you’ll waste thousands of dollars on something that doesn’t fulfill your needs. That’s why we spend critical time during the sales process identifying your needs and testing lasers to ensure the laser solution built to order is a perfect fit for your industry requirements. By using the wrong laser, you risk:
- Damaging your product(s)
- Not properly cleaning your product(s)
- The laser being too slow and not producing the right results
- Wasting costs on ineffective results
What Products Need Laser Cleaning?
From metal to nonmetal applications, if your product is covered by contaminants — including rust, grease, mold, oil, or others — then laser cleaning may be the right solution for you. Laser cleaning works best on targeted areas and uses laser light to absorb into and remove contaminants. With thousands of laser pulses per second, you can clean anything — from a small area on an aircraft to the bulkhead of an aircraft carrier. Plus, we provide laser solutions for:
- Welding and bonding treatments
- Coating preparation
- Nuclear decontamination
- Surface prep for non-destructive testing/investigation
Benefits Of Laser Cleaning
Unlike other forms of cleaning — including media blasting and plasma cleaning — when used properly, laser cleaning ticks the safety boxes for your operators and employees, your product(s), and the environment. The only safety wear your operators will need to use are safety glasses and a designated hazard zone.
Our laser solutions create no additional waste and absorb into and remove contaminants down to the foundation — without damaging your substrate. This means that each time you use our lasers, you’re ensuring a smooth finish that protects the lifespan of your product and is safe for the environment.
Each of our laser solutions is custom-built to order and comes with a warranty, an optional service/maintenance contract, and safety training by our team — including general and unique safety considerations, equipment operations and maintenance tips, proper troubleshooting tactics, and more. While we suggest a designated laser safety officer be present at each location a laser is deployed, our goal is to provide the training you need to operate our lasers safely and effectively.
Since there are so many factors when choosing the right laser for your needs, the only way to determine the best laser solution for your products is to talk to one of our laser specialists. They’ll walk you through the sales process, answering all of your questions and providing you with the resources and tools you need to make the best decision for your business.