Laser cleaning plays a key role in the industry. It can be used in many fields: product cleaning and surface treatment (before shipment, welding and painting), waste recycling and machine cleaning (cleaning, descaling,etc). Enterprises need to face the problems of tooling maintenance and mold cleaning
At present, there are many traditional cleaning methods, such as sandblasting, low temperature, crimping, chemical cleaning and manual cleaning. However, these methods have many problems，which causing damage to the processed products, generating a large amount of waste, shutting down the production line, regulatory restrictions, and the muscle and bone diseases that the working environment brings to the technicians.
Advantages of laser cleaning
Laser cleaning refers to the use of high-energy-density laser beams to remove coatings of different thicknesses on any type of material through several effects (thermal effect, photochemistry, ultrafast and thermal). Compared with traditional technology, the benefits of laser cleaning include precision, quality, profitability, productivity and ecological benefits (Figure 1).
Laser cleaning is a non-contact, non-invasive technology and the only solution that can clean delicate surfaces under peeling impact. Different from the rough spray cleaning method of abrasive or sand, the laser allows users to clean fine areas (Figure 2).
In terms of safety, laser cleaning also has its advantages. The only personal protective equipment that needs to be worn is laser protective glasses, which are mandatory for the operator and anyone approaching the laser cleaning site (the simpler way is to isolate the work area with a protective plate). Laser cleaning does not require the operator to wear special suits, gloves or other equipment that may restrain the operator.
Laser cleaning does not require any consumables, thus eliminating the need to sort and manage cleaning waste. The only waste that needs to be recycled in laser cleaning is the cleaning coating itself. Depending on the type of coating processed, these coating wastes are mainly a small amount of particles or smoke. Therefore, laser cleaning equipment is usually equipped with a device for smoking dust.
Laser cleaning equipment has been used in the automotive industry.For example, to remove rubber from tire molds or mold release agents from plastic parts molds. The laser only concentrates the energy on the coating to be removed and will not damage or wear the mold structure, so users no longer need to spend money to replace the old mold as a whole.
Laser cleaning is also suitable for painted parts. Traditional cleaning methods usually need to stop the production line. Therefore, only concentrated time periods are arranged for cleaning every year. However, laser cleaning can be carried out directly on the production line at any time without stopping the production line, which can avoid a large amount of economic losses due to production shutdown.
Laser technology is a breakthrough solution for material cleaning and removal.because it can effectively control the process without any pollution.