Laser cleaning can be a great way to clean metal surfaces. It’s fast and efficient and can remove surface oxides without damaging or changing the chemical or structural composition of the metal. The laser beam vaporizes both oxidation layers on the surface and some of the substrate itself, so make sure you do a test first if there are any concerns about possible damage during this process.
1. Mechanical destruction.
Laser cleaning will not damage the metal surface.
Because of the high-energy beam, particles are vaporized and removed from the surface. The mechanical effect on a solid material is not very large. Laser cleaning does not change the chemical composition or structure of metals, which has been proved by many tests. In addition, there are no residual products left after laser cleaning processes; therefore, it can be used for products with strict requirements on cleanliness such as optical instruments and electronic devices.
When lasers heat up metal surfaces, they can create microcracks in the metal surface. These microcracks are caused by thermal stresses and mechanical stresses that occur when you run high power laser beams across a metal surface.
Thermal stress can cause a chemical reaction between the oxygen in the air and the metals on your car’s surface to create a white powdery substance called oxides or scale. This can cause permanent damage to both your car’s paint job and its underlying layers of metal.
Because these cracks form at such an incredibly small level, they often cannot be seen with the naked eye unless you examine them closely under magnification or use another type of imaging technology such as x-rays or ultrasound scans (like those used for medical imaging).
3. Metal melting
If you’re using a laser beam that is too powerful, or if the metal surface is not protected by an anti-reflective coating, you may see some melting of the metal surface. This can be avoided by lowering your laser beam power or changing its wavelength to something that’s less damaging to your material.
- For example, if you’re trying to clean gold but have accidentally used a blue laser instead of green (which is safer for gold), then it’s possible that your gold will start melting if the powers are too high. To prevent this from happening, lower your power until no damage occurs—but don’t go any lower than necessary!
4. Change of chemical composition
Changes in the chemical composition and structure of a metal are not caused by laser cleaning. The laser beam vaporizes the oxidation layer and some of the metal substrate together with it, but does not change its chemical composition or structure.
Laser cleaning will not damage the metal surface and will not change the metal’s chemical composition or structure, but keep in mind that the laser beam will vaporize the metal surface oxidation layer and some of the metal substrate together with it. So, before starting a laser cleaning, be sure to make a test on a small piece of metal from your lot and check it for any possible damage and/or destruction.