While laser welding, hole punching and cutting have been known for many years, laser cleaning technology is still considered niche. It has not been used in industry for a long time, despite the possibility of removing most of the organic contaminants.
Today, a wide range of systems based on pulsed lasers are used for cleaning or removing coatings. Laser equipment is used to remove a layer of paint from delicate surfaces, remove insulation from wires, clean the surface, remove rubber vulcanization residues on tire molds, etc. All these operations can be referred to as “cleaning” in one way or another.
Why laser Cleaning?
The development of laser cleaning has been driven by the need for non-abrasive and safe cleaning that can replace the use of chemical solvents and mechanical abrasive systems.
One of the key issues that characterize most conventional cleaning methods is substrate damage and negative impact on the environment. Abrasive cleaning damages delicate surfaces and is accompanied by large amounts of contamination. The use of chemical solvents is accompanied by liquid waste and potentially hazardous fumes. Problems like these led to the creation of the first laser cleaning systems.
The benefits of laser surface cleaning include:
non-contact / non-abrasive process;
no chemical solvents or abrasive particles;
reduction of pollution volumes;
possibility of automation;
How laser surface cleaning works
Almost all laser cleaning technologies are based on pulsed laser radiation, while the output power, radiation wavelength, and parameters of the pulse itself can vary significantly.
Ultra-short pulses (on the order of nano – microseconds) with a power of several million watts are directed to the surface to be cleaned. The impact energy results in an explosion of pollution, some of which evaporates, and the remainder is dispersed as dust and can be removed by the filtration system. This process is repeated until the required removal depth is reached. Laser radiation is absorbed by organic materials such as paint, insulation, or rubber. Metallic surfaces, such as a tire mold or a copper core, reflect laser radiation. As a result, there is no mechanical, chemical, or thermal impact on the substrate.
The main applications of laser cleaning are:
1. Preparation of critical parts for flaw detection:
cleaning of welded seams of pressure vessels,
cleaning of welded seams and joints of loaded elements and structures,
cleaning of pipes of various grades (OK, tubing, SBT, coiled tubing), as well as rods of submersible pumps.
2. Cleaning the sealing surfaces:
sealing surfaces of pumps, tanks and separators.
3. Production of large diameter pipes:
cleaning surfaces before applying protective coatings,remove of the oxidized layer from the welded ends.4. Manufacture of oil and gas equipment:
surface cleaning before coating,removal of the oxidized layer from the welded ends.
4. Cleaning rotating equipment:
cleaning stages of centrifugal pumps.
5. Stripping and degreasing:
removing paint from the surface of the drilling complex, removing paint from the surface of equipment and infrastructure.
TIPTOPLASER product range includes both portable and stationary installations for laser cleaning of metal from rust. To choose the right machine for your needs, please contact our managers or leave a request for a call back on the website.