What Is Laser Cleaning? Understanding The Basics

by Roger Roche
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For decades, the methods and machines used for cleaning surfaces in different industrial applications have been similar. But recently, there has been a demand for improvement. Thus, laser technology is replacing traditional abrasive processes through the laser cleaning machine, such as depainting, restoration, joint cleaning, and surface restoration.

1.Why Laser Cleaning?

Laser surface treatment of elements is an essential technique since it enhances different material properties, including hardness, coefficient of friction, and various materials’ corrosion.

These improvements to the surface of a material are perfect for various applications when the tear rate is high. They may be applicable in maintaining a component’s functionality and life by covering different microcracks found on the surfaces.

Other than that, laser treatment machines can be used to improve the aesthetics of material by forming a modified layer through unique laser cleaning methods. Such a layer serves as a protective barrier from harsh chemicals surrounding the material being cleaned in many cases.

2. Tricks and Tips

Because it is a preferred cleaning technique, laser cleaning machines are now widespread, given that they are precise, controllable, and generate little to no waste at all. The low waste, coupled with high efficiency, are two significant reasons why laser cleaning is the eco-friendly approach to cleaning surfaces.

3. What it Uses

Laser cleaning machines use a focused light beam to scrap off contaminants from the metal surface. Ablation, a well-known technique, in this case, denotes various processes used to remove unwanted material from surfaces.

The same is accompanied by a concentration of shock waves propagating outward, thereby affecting surrounding surfaces. The laser’s energy is absorbed by pure surface material to get a spotless surface, resulting in different ablation products.

Experts have developed different theoretical approaches to explain the ablation process. Various studies have also been conducted to take a measure of the parameters of ablation and related conditions.

An ablation threshold is measured for different metals that range from 0.1 to 0.9 J/sg cm to get results. The values are dependent on the wavelength of the laser beam.

Typically, the ablation rate is proportional to the laser’s logarithm. The beam absorption efficiency depends on the reflectivity of the material coupled with the surface quality and other properties of the surface’s contaminants.

As soon as a laser beam is used, the surface property changes. That is why, in a few applications, the surface must remain fully polished while in others, it needs to be rough.

Consequently, for you to successfully finish the process, a unique laser cleaning technique must is used, and the contaminants should also be removed.

4. Understanding Surface Pre-treatment

Laser cleaning machines can replace various chemical treatments of metallic surfaces. Such materials have initially been prepared for premium brazed and soldered connection. Elements such as grease and toxic hydrates may also be removed using fiber lasers.

Final Thoughts

A laser machine’s low energy will leave your surface with its roughness. If you choose the recommended power and performance modes, the profile can be changed to unique requirements and prepared for other joining processes.

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