How to Clean Laser Optics

How to Clean Laser Optics

Laser cleaning solutions are ideal for removing rust and other contaminants, preparing parts for bonding, and expanding the lifespan of your products. While it’s designed to make cleaning your products easier, there are pieces to your solution that are vital to ensuring it works properly every time you need it. From weekly routines to monthly maintenance, expanding the lifespan of your laser solution means properly maintaining it. But, what is involved, and how do you clean your laser’s optics?

PARTS THAT MAKE UP YOUR LASER SOLUTION

Your laser solution uses thousands of pulses per second to remove contaminants and provide your product with a pristine clean — without damaging the substrate. While each laser is custom built to fit your needs, there are some commonalities that may need routine maintenance and replacing. The most common parts are:

  • Water chiller
  • Water chiller coolant
  • Water filters
  • Protection window
  • Desiccant

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR CLEAN LASER OPTICS

Your laser solution needs scheduled cleaning and maintenance to perform most efficiently and effectively. Part of that routine maintenance plan includes caring for your optics daily. A dirty optic can decrease your output power an average of 20%. To ensure you’re getting the most from your laser solution, you should:

1. Clean the protection window and assess for damages before each use. If the window is cracked, dirty beyond cleaning, or no longer has its anti-reflective coating, it will need to be replaced immediately. Further damage could impact your optic and may require a full rebuild.

2. Many solutions have temperature monitoring and can identify the warning signs of optic heating. Optic heating can occur from a dirty protection window or back reflection from your process.

3. Safely test your optic power to ensure your laser solution is optimized for your needs. This can be done through the external laser power measurement process. Inspect and clean the optics as needed, or replace them if necessary.

FREQUENTLY ASKED MAINTENANCE QUESTIONS

IF MY LASER BREAKS, HOW QUICKLY CAN IT BE REPAIRED?

This can range between a simple phone call to the very next day or a little longer — it all depends on the nature of the issue, the ability to connect to your laser system, your spare components available, and your level of service-contract in place. If you believe you will need immediate assistance, we’ll provide guaranteed, front-of-the-line service, within your desired timeframe, via our service contracts.

WHAT IS LASER MAINTENANCE LIKE? HOW OFTEN DO I NEED IT? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

It depends on the laser. Low-powered systems are very robust, air-cooled, and easy to maintain. With low-powered lasers, it’s only the optic which needs to be cleaned typically — and this is a daily occurrence. Our team can also inspect, maintain, and measure the internal components of the laser yearly to ensure a lifetime of cleaning ability.

The mid- and high-powered lasers, meanwhile, are water-cooled systems. While these lasers also require the same daily optics maintenance, each has additional needs when it comes to upkeep. Both laser types require humidity control packets, water filters, protective lenses, and water services every six months — which our team can perform on your behalf as needed.

CAN I DO THE MAINTENANCE MYSELF?

Yes, you can do some of the basic day-to-day maintenance yourself — optic cleaning, water chiller maintenance, desiccant packet swapping, and protective window swapping, for example. Anything more advanced will require training or assistance from our Adapt Laser team.

DOES THE LASER SYSTEM REQUIRE ANY CONSUMABLES?

The primary consumables will be either optic wipes or swabs, specialized cleaning wipes/swabs designed to not leave contaminants behind, dehydrated alcohol — which won’t streak and is quick-drying — desiccant packs, and water filters. The consumables will depend on your specific needs, but in general, these are the most common.

WHATEVER YOUR NEEDS, ADAPT LASER HAS A SOLUTION FOR IT

Adapt Laser specializes in the know-how and application of laser cleaning solutions. We offer products with a range between 20 and 1,600 watts and provide training to ensure your employees can get the most from their laser cleaning solutions. We’ve equipped a variety of industries and companies with laser cleaning solutions — including military and defense for the US Airforce and Navy — and hundreds of organizations trust our state-of-the-art laser cleaning solutions.

Contact us today or call (816) 466-5855 to find the right laser cleaning solution for you.

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