Laser Cleaning

Laser Cleaning

Surface cleaning using lasers

Pulsed laser energy removes contaminants and other unwanted substances—from rust to mold—without damaging the underlying surface of your part. Due to their high energy density and small spot size, lasers are a great tool for cleaning a variety of surfaces.

Laser cleaning is important to many industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical—and more. Applications include:

  • Rust removal
  • Mold cleaning
  • Paint stripping
  • Baking plate cleaning
  • Heat seal die cleaning
  • Art or antique restoration

Advantages of Laser Cleaning

  • Precise cleaning areas. Due to the laser’s small spot size, you can precisely control cleaning locations.
  • Non-contact. Lasers make no mechanical contact with parts, which can cause unnecessary wear.
  • No consumables. Laser cleaning eliminates chemicals and replacement cleaning tools.
  • Flexible integration. Laser cleaning systems work as standalone machines, or you can integrate them into production lines.

Laser Cleaning Methods

During the cleaning process, a galvanometer focuses and steers the laser beam onto the surface of the part. Because of its high energy density, the beam reacts with the surface to remove the unwanted layer.

This process works best when the unwanted layer has a high absorption rate within the laser’s wavelength range and the underlying substrate is reflective within the same range. This relative absorption difference causes the unwanted material to heat up quickly and ablate from the surface—leaving the substrate unaffected. A fume extraction system then removes the airborne material in a clean and controlled manner.

Learn More

Though near-infrared wavelengths are commonly used for laser cleaning, you might require different wavelengths depending on the absorption properties of your material.

To help you determine the best laser for your cleaning application, contact our Applications Lab today.

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