You can care for your products — such as your aircraft or heavy machinery — properly and carefully, but there are still some circumstances that can wear them down. Environmental factors like rain can start chemical reactions such as oxidation and rust on certain metals. Tools impacted by rust can break down more easily — causing you to replace them or decreasing your efficiency when using them. But, since rust occurs gradually, you may not even notice the inefficiencies until your product breaks down.
While there are several media options for removing rust and oxidation from your operations, not all of the alternatives do so without harming your product. The most common media blasting options — including sandblasting and dry ice blasting — are effective, but are harmful to both your substrate and the environment. Laser cleaning is a safer alternative, but how does it handle oxides?
HOW DOES OXIDE OCCUR?
Oxidation occurs when electrons are lost during a reaction. When this happens, the state of the molecule, atom, or ion increases. Oxidation is typically a reaction of oxygen and atmospheric moisture — such as rain or snow — on metal. While oxidation can occur on any metal product, if the metal contains iron, the result will be rust. Corrosion can destroy the integrity of your products if left unresolved. So, it’s important that you remove the rust before it can do further damage.
HOW DOES LASER CLEANING WORK?
Laser cleaning uses thousands of laser pulses per second to absorb and remove contaminants efficiently without impacting the substrate. Because of the pulsing power of the laser solution, it removes rust, grease, and other hazardous surface materials without contributing additional waste or requiring extra cleanup. Laser cleaning works best on targeted areas — effectively removing even the thickest contaminants. With low-, mid-, and high-powered solutions available, we can help you find the right laser for your needs.
BENEFITS OF LASER CLEANING
Not only is laser cleaning less damaging than other media blasting options, but it’s also safer for your team. Most media blasting options require a full-suit of protective gear. Laser cleaning only requires proper safety training, protective eyewear, and a designated optical hazard zone to prevent outside entry while the laser is being operated. The lack of materials impacting how well you can operate the laser solution makes it easier to clean your products effectively. Compared to abrasive hand cleaning, laser cleaning is 15x faster. This means you can spend less time maintaining your products and more time using them.
CAN LASER CLEANING REMOVE OXIDE FROM YOUR PRODUCT?
Laser cleaning is effective at removing oxides, rust, and other contaminants from metal and some non-metal products. But, it’s not the most effective solution for everything. Some of the most common cases where laser cleaning was the ideal method for cleaning include:
- Car structural frame bonding for manufacturing
- Aircraft structure bonding
- Weld preparation for Navy ships
- Electric vehicle fuel-cell conductivity
- Military vehicles
While laser cleaning is ideal for car manufacturing, it isn’t the best media option for car restoration or larger surface areas. When considering larger areas such as cleaning whole vehicles, media blasting options — like sandblasting — can be more effective. However, the best way to determine if laser cleaning is the right solution for your specific needs is to talk to our sales engineers and test your product in our on-site lab.
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 — including laser safety procedures, equipment operations and maintenance, and troubleshooting — 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.