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Laser cleaning offers a range of applications

Jan 01, 2022

Laser cleaning is a technology increasingly used for a variety of applications, including welding pre- and post-treatments, coating removal, and decontamination.


Laser cleaning is based on laser ablation - the process of removing material mainly from a solid surface by irradiating it with a laser beam. Every material is composed of different molecular bonds that determine a specific ablation threshold—that is, the energy required to overcome the binding energy of the contaminant layer and decompose it. To remove the contaminant layer, the energy from the laser must be above the ablation threshold of the particular material; in general terms, as the ablation threshold increases, so does the energy required to remove the contaminant. For efficient laser cleaning, the ablation threshold of the material to be cleaned should be consistently higher than that of the material to be removed.


The types of lasers used for ablation vary according to the contaminant, the composition of the underlying material, the treatment required, and the surface area that needs to be cleaned. For example, near-infrared pulsed lasers of a few tens of watts (or more) are used often because they are more efficient in reaching the ablation threshold than continuous-wave lasers. At the same time, especially short pulses have the further advantage of not heating up the surface to be cleaned.


Environmental and safety issues always accompany laser ablation, as lasers vaporize materials into fumes. In the case of an oxidized metal surface, for example, the oxide particles detach from the surface and create a highly compressed plasma (ionized gas out of equilibrium), which expands and creates a shock wave that then fragments and ejects the layer of pollutant into the atmosphere. For this reason, a fume extraction system is always needed near a laser cleaning system.


Despite these issues, numerous  companies are developing laser cleaning technologies. More and more users are willing to commit to an initial investment to profit from the advantages of this technology for surface cleaning.


Duman has developed a basic version of the laser cleaning machine, which solves most of the cleaning problems. If you only basically clean rust, paint or plastic, then this machine can fully meet your requirements.