The HOW of Laser Cleaning
How does the process work?
Laser cleaning is one of the most efficient and effective methods for removing rust from a material. The rust, which is a contaminant, will form on the surface layer of a material. Using fiber type lasers offers great control when it comes to pulse duration, power and wavelength, the user can direct a beam of high-power energy directly at this rust.
The rust will quickly absorb the energy beam, and as the heat begins to rise, the rust will irradiate, melt, and eventually vaporise. Fiber lasers are the most effective types of laser on the market, and this process will allow you to only vaporise the rust from the material being worked with, without causing any damage to the actual material below.
A further benefit of this process is that it can be adapted to a wide range of projects. Perhaps you want to remove a small amount of rust from a select area. Alternatively, you may need to restore whole structures, such as old bridges.
Fiber-based lasers have quickly become the most accepted form of medium when it comes to the laser cleaning of rust.
How does Laser Cleaning work on metals?
Cleaning with lasers works by having a laser beam pulsed at the surface layer of the metal. This metal may have contaminants on it such as mould, paint or rust, and the idea is to clear the surface through this process. This may be out of necessity for the next steps in the manufacturing process, or simply to make the metal more aesthetically pleasing.
The laser beam, which can have both its power, duration, and wavelength controlled, is absorbed by the surface contaminants until they are vaporised, leaving the clean metal beneath. Any substrates which aren’t vaporized will be left over as particle dust, which can be easily removed by the user.
There will be no thermal, mechanical or chemical damage to your metal, leaving you with a high-quality finish.
How does a fiber laser remove traffic film?
Traditionally pressure washers have been used in the cleaning of planes, but a new and emerging opportunity is to clean planes with laser technology. We explore this topic in our latest question and answer guide.
The process of removing traffic is through an ablation process. An area of the plane is focused upon by the beam of the laser. Layer by layer the contaminant film is systematically removed. The laser operator has absolute precision and control over what they remove, this ensures they do not cause any damage to the underlying substrate material.
Traditionally high-pressure water has been used to clean planes, but these can struggle to gain access to the “hard to reach places”.