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Laser Cleaning for Rust Removal : The Ultimate Guide

By Published On: July 28, 2022Categories: Application1505 wordsViews: 162

Laser cleaning offers a safe and much faster way to remove rust from any type of metal. It fully removes corrosion to the bare metal without altering the integrity of the metal. It also eliminates the hassle of having to dispose of hazardous waste. This means that once the cleaning is done, the job is done – providing the perfect solution for aircraft, ship, and armored vehicle maintenance.

It’s fast, safe, and it cleans without the need of any harsh media or chemicals. The quick setup and teardown time also makes laser cleaning a time saver for you and your team.

Laser Cleaning For Rust Removal

How Laser Rust Removal Works

Laser cleaning technology works by sending nanosecond-length pulses of laser light towards a surface. When it interacts with contaminants that absorb laser light, the contaminants or coating particles will either turn into a gas or the pressure of the interaction will cause particles to free from the surface.

With the right laser settings and equipment, laser cleaning is unmatched in its ability to clean all the way to the bare metal of your product. Adapt Laser specializes in the know-how and application of laser cleaning solutions to put together the formula for your specific situation. Once we identify the combination of settings and equipment, the process can be matched across other setups – working very efficiently without affecting the integrity of the surface you are cleaning.

In addition to its cleaning capabilities, laser technology has added benefits: It is easy to operate, safe, easily automated, quiet, and reliable. It doesn’t require cleanup, comes with low operating costs, it’s low maintenance, and environmentally friendly.

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Why Cleaning using Laser Cleaning process?

Nearly In almost all industries, lasers can provide quick cleaning and surface preparation. The laser is conveniently automatic and has lower maintenance and Low operational cost. The laser system removes rust, oil, and grate, strips paints or coatings, or changes the surface texture and finish to improve adhesion, for example, by adding roughness.

  • No abrasive chemicals while processing, no contamination isolation, and disposal issues
  • Zero solvents while laser cleaning process-a chemical-free process and a Fully environmentally friendly approach
  • We have a choice to select the area to be cleaned, Thus saves time and money
  • It is a non-contact method that never deteriorates its efficiency
  • An easily programmable System that can reduce running costs by reducing labor costs while ensuring greater consistency with performance

Laser cleaning also referred to as laser surface cleaning, has been an essential and vital method for many industries worldwide. Laser Cleaning application is by no means the only form of cleaning technique, and several other forms of cleaning methods have been used before.

However, laser cleaning was launched to the industry to overcome some of the challenges posed by these other processes and give their customers a different series of benefits.

As discussed, other types of cleaning processes were readily accessible to industries, including some dry-ice blasting, media blasting, or cleaning using the presence of organic solvents, which were sufficient to complete the work in the hands. The concern is that all these techniques often had multiple unintended side effects.

The greatest concern with these processes is that they are abrasive and sometimes life-threatening. Not just do they have environmental impacts, but they also have safety concerns, as a significant amount of potentially hazardous waste is also generated by all these cleaning methods.

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Benefits Of Laser Rust Removal

Environmental-Friendly

Unlike the traditional methods that use chemicals and consumables to remove rust, laser cleaning is on another level. In fact, it’s the sole method that meets the environmental protection regulations, meaning you can get rid of the consumables while you go green.

It generates relatively low dust into the air, which can be vacuumed almost instantly with only a dust extraction system.

It Eliminates Manual Labor

There’s no denying that cleaning every part of a metal manually can be expensive and inefficient. Therefore, laser cleaning eliminates such expenses as it’s either fully or semi-automated.

It Minimizes Maintenance

Abrasive blasting requires constant maintenance. The reason being, there can be several reasons, such as the presence of sand, meaning you must always be on the lookout. On the other hand, laser rust removal is essentially a non-contact process that removes rust continuously, reducing maintenance costs.

Safety

Operators are safe with laser cleaning as it’s non-contact; therefore, laser cleaning provides a safe workplace. Personal protective equipment is not required for hearing, respiratory, or even body protection. Besides, they don’t handle dangerous materials.

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Applications Of Laser Rust Removal

  1. Pre-Welding Metal Cleaning
    Efficient pre-welding treatment or material preparation, which may include laser rust removal, e-coating contamination, or treatment of other selective layers.
  2. Post-Welding Cleaning in Preparation for Coating
    Easy removal of the rough and charred post-welding area to securely adhere paint or coating to the welded material in preparation for coatings.
  3. Ship Maintenance Interior and Exterior
    Maintenance repairs for engines, small boats, critical components, door hinges, door locks, and latches. Removal of salt water stains and more to prevent corrosion, maintain functionality, avoid premature failures, and prevent further deterioration and damage.
  4. Assembled Component Maintenance Clean-ups and Reconditioning
    Smoothing of surfaces and removal of scaling from engines, generators, anchoring chains, winches, gear shifting components, throttle components, fuel pumps, and water separators, without disassembly.
  5.  Parts Identification Engraving for Maintenance or Inventory Management
    Marking and engraving of individual parts without human evaluation of conditions.
  6. Non-Erasable Service and Quality Marks 
  7. Can be used for weld quality control, repair work, and more on newly welded piping, high-pressure fuel pipes, balance tanks, pressurized compartments, water pipes, and high-pressure vapour pipes.
  8. Selective De- painting
    Selective cleaning on access points, service latches, and more.

Common Automotive Rust Removal Questions

Does Laser Cleaning Remove Rust Permanently?

Just as rust can develop on your metal products over time, so can it happen again. While laser cleaning doesn’t permanently remove rust, it does eliminate the risk of degrading your applications. That means that with proper maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of your product and decrease downtime and inefficiencies.

Can Lasers Clean Pipes/tubes?

Generally speaking, laser cleaning is best suited for areas you can see with the naked eye, so cleaning pipes, tubes, and other difficult-to-see areas will require specialized optics and a custom solution that can handle these atypical laser cleaning projects.

Can Laser Cleaning Be Used For Car Restoration?

Laser ablation is an ideal solution for many car manufacturing processes, but it may not be the most cost effective solution for a typical car restoration project. For one-off cleaning projects, laser cleaning is often not the most cost-effective cleaning option. Car restoration also involves reaching many hard-to-see areas, so it may require a more customized cleaning solution.

Which Solution Is Best For Removing Rust From My Car?

Laser cleaning is best suited for automotive manufacturing operations that involve large production quantities or repeated tasks. It also has the benefit of being safe on sensitive surface materials and being able to reach smaller, targeted areas like door frames and structural framing. Smaller operations or one-off restoration projects generally don’t present the best business case for the purchase of a cleaning laser.

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