Whether for commercial or military use, people rely on jets to get from point A to point B. A critical part that helps make that happen is the jet turbines or engines. That’s why it’s crucial that the parts are well constructed and bonded together. Any weak points can wear down with use and can cause dangerous malfunctions mid-flight. But, how do these weak points occur? One way is during the bonding or welding processes. If contaminants cover the surface material of a part, there won’t be a clean base to bond to. Fortunately, laser cleaning can provide the precision clean required for bonding and pre-welding prep. How does it work, and which laser solution is best for your needs?
COMMON PROBLEMS OF JET TURBINES
While manufacturing jet turbines, the different parts — such as the blades, multiple sectional components, and more — are typically welded together. But, before they can be welded or bonded together, the hazardous coatings or contaminants on the surface must be safely and effectively removed. Since media blasting options like sandblasting and dry-ice blasting can damage the substrate, laser cleaning is considered the optimal solution for this job.
Once removed, the pristine base allows for the different pieces to be secured and welded together. But, welding and bonding prep aren’t the only problems that laser cleaning can resolve. Laser solutions also clean molds used in the manufacturing process — such as the shield and mold that go around the engine.
HOW DOES LASER CLEANING WORK?
Laser cleaning — also called laser ablation — uses thousands of laser pulses per second to absorb and remove contaminants without impacting the integrity of your substrate. Unlike media blasting options which can damage the product you’re attempting to clean, laser cleaning produces no additional waste, requires little to no cleanup, and only leaves behind a truly clean surface area.
Laser ablation removes thick contaminants — such as grease, rust, and hazardous paints — from targeted areas. But, cleaning isn’t the only use for our laser solutions. They can also be used for:
- Bonding preparation
- Coating preparation
- Nuclear decontamination
- Surface prep for NDI
- Welding/brazing preparation
- Welding post-treatment
BENEFITS OF LASER CLEANING
The biggest advantage of using laser ablation as opposed to other methods of cleaning is how much safer laser cleaning is for both the environment and your operators. Because it produces no additional waste and safely removes hazardous paints, it’s considered a green option. And, the only protective gear required is protective eyewear — although training and a designated optical hazard zone are also required to restrict access from unprotected individuals.
Laser cleaning is also 15x faster than hand abrasive cleaning, making it a more effective solution for targeted cleaning. With a variety of laser options — from low- to high-powered and handheld to automatic — finding the right laser for your needs is as simple as testing out the product in our on-site lab.
WHICH LASER SOLUTION IS THE BEST FOR JET TURBINES?
Whenever it comes to finding the right laser for your needs, there’s a lot to consider. The best way to determine that answer is by talking to our sales team. We’ll test your product in our on-site lab, talk to you about your needs — including how often you use the product, when you can afford downtime for maintenance, and more — and custom-build your laser based on your specifications.
For jet turbine manufacturing, the most common laser-powered solution we provide is our mid-powered lasers. They offer a mix of flexibility with the robust optics of a high-powered laser. And, like the rest of our laser solutions, they provide a precision clean without damaging the substrate — providing the ideal surface material for bonding and pre-weld treatment.
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.