Whether you’re considering a laser cleaning business or just aren’t sure if laser cleaning is right for your needs, there’s a lot to take into account. You need to know that whichever laser you invest in is going to produce the desired results. From optics to wattages, your product requires slightly different laser configurations or solutions to ensure optimal performance. So, is laser cleaning right for your business? And, if so, which solution is best for your needs?
HOW LASER CLEANING WORKS
In order to determine if laser cleaning is right for your business, first, you should understand how it works. Process requirements and quality can build up contaminants on the products that you use. This impacts the entire operation and the lifespan of your equipment. Laser cleaning uses thousands of laser pulses per second to absorb layers of contaminants that are built up during use and safely removes them. When leveraging the right laser solution, it produces precision cleaning without damaging the substrate.
PROS & CONS OF LASER CLEANING
ADVANTAGES OF LASER CLEANING
In addition to removing layers of contaminants without damaging the substrate, laser cleaning is ideal for capturing and containing hazardous materials — including coatings, lead paints, and asbestos. This means that it’s safer for the environment and creates no additional waste. Laser cleaning has a variety of uses, including:
- Bonding preparation
- Coating preparation
- Nuclear decontamination
- Surface prep for NDI
- Welding/brazing preparation
- Welding post-treatment
DISADVANTAGES OF LASER CLEANING
While there are many benefits to laser cleaning, it’s not the right solution for every product. This includes any general cleaning applications where media blasting or grinding are acceptable, and the laser strength is not needed. It also includes any complex geometries that inhibit your line of sight.
While our laser solutions can be customized to work in most environments, hot and humid places with limited access are not ideal. Laser cleaning can be up to 15x more efficient than hand-abrasive methods for cleaning, but for general rust or non-hazardous coating removal that involves larger areas, other media blasting solutions perform faster.
WHICH LASER SOLUTION DO YOU NEED?
Determining the right laser solution entirely depends on which product needs to be cleaned or prepared, which environment it will primarily be used in, and what contaminants you’re attempting to remove — among others. To help answer these questions, we’ll test your products in our on-site lab. Based on those tests, our CleanLASER partner will custom build a solution perfect for your application and environment. Possible laser options may include:
COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
HOW MUCH DOES A LASER SYSTEM COST, AND HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO GET YOUR SOLUTION?
Low-powered lasers start at $100,000, while high-powered lasers start at around $500,000 — the necessary laser is largely based on the operation and application, not on the quality of laser cleaning. We are a build-to-order manufacturer and do not create your laser product until we know exactly how your needs can be met. The typical lead time can be 20 or more weeks for the laser system, with less infrequent builds taking 28 or more weeks.
WHAT ARE THE OPERATING AND MAINTENANCE COSTS?
Every six months, a recommended specialized coolant flush should be completed by a trained service rep to ensure proper system cooling and algae restriction. This typically costs $4,500/session. Every year while completing the flush, the service tech would also flush to remove algae growth. Operating costs — including power and consumables to clean the lens — typically run less than $1/hour.
You can do some of the basic day-to-day maintenance yourself — such as optic cleaning, water chiller maintenance, desiccant packet swapping, and protective window swapping. Anything more advanced will require training or assistance from our Adapt Laser team.
IS LASER CLEANING SAFE?
When used properly, laser ablation is one of the safest forms of cleaning contaminants — both for the environment and your employees. Operating your laser solution requires only an optical hazard zone and safety glasses. In some cases, you may use an enclosure to clean small applications. When an enclosure is used, safety glasses are not required. When you purchase one of our laser solutions, we’ll provide a comprehensive laser safety training,
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 1,000 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.