Laser cleaning technology is considered one of the safest alternatives for hazardous coating removal, bonding and welding treatment, and other contaminant removal processes. That’s because laser ablation requires very little PPE and makes disposal of hazardous waste a breeze. But, what makes it so safe? And, why is it the ideal solution for most hazardous coating removal?
HOW DOES LASER CLEANING WORK?
Laser ablation uses thousands of pulses per second to absorb into and remove contaminants. It uses an integrated vacuum that suctions airborne contaminants and other coatings as the light penetrates the layers and breaks them down into gases. Because the vacuum safely captures these contaminants, your operators aren’t at risk of swallowing hazardous airborne chemicals — and therefore don’t need PPE designed for this risk, as opposed to other abrasive methods that do.
Once suctioned using the vacuum nozzle, the gaseous contaminants travel to the fume extraction unit. This machine has a multi-filter system designed to easily capture any particles during the laser ablation process. This also makes the hazardous coatings easier to dispose of as opposed to the extensive — and often expensive — disposal process for sandblasting or other abrasive methods.
COMPARING DISPOSAL METHODS
When removing contaminants with an abrasive cleaning method, you’re not only removing the coatings from your substrate, you’re also blasting them into the air along with any abrasive waste — such as sand, glass, or other consumables. This is harmful to both your operators and the environment. That’s why each state’s EPA has regulations around using these types of abrasive cleaning methods and how to dispose of the waste produced by them.
If your coatings are not toxic, you can simply dispose of waste properly in a sanitary landfill following standard procedures and paying an associated fee. But, if you’re removing toxic contaminants — like lead, PVD, and other hazardous coatings — then you’ll need to contact a waste management company to help you properly dispose of the hazardous waste. This can cost thousands of dollars in disposal — with some companies charging per pound.
Laser ablation, on the other hand, produces little to no additional waste during the coating removal process, and because all the hazardous contaminants are safely extracted, there’s no additional equipment needed to capture those airborne particles. And, with the hazardous coatings converted to a gaseous state and then captured using the filters within the fume extraction unit, the disposal is treated differently than if you had a bag of toxic waste — saving you thousands of dollars.
PURCHASING THE RIGHT FUME EXTRACTION UNIT
During our cleaning lasers sales process, we pinpoint each of your operational and technical considerations to ensure that a custom-built laser cleaning solution is made for your exact needs and will deliver the results you desire. Along with this process, we’ll be able to suggest the exact fume extraction filter unit you’ll need for your cleaning process.
Our fume extraction units vary depending on the laser process you need them for. If you’re removing hazardous waste from your tools and equipment, we’ll make sure that your fume extraction filter unit includes a HEPA, ULPA, and activated carbon filters to ensure optimal performance. For more information about our extraction units or to order replacement filters, contact our sales team.
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 2,000 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 Air Force and Navy — and hundreds of organizations trust our state-of-the-art laser cleaning solutions.