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Laser surface preparation and cleaning

Laser surface preparation and cleaning

Principle

Laser cleaning works on the principle of photon pulses being beamed at the surface. Depending on the material, they trigger thermal, physical or photochemical reactions resulting in a cleaning effect.  In the case of an oxidised metal surface, the oxide particles are detached from the surface as their expansion coefficient is different to that for metal. 

Any organic contamination present is sublimated by the calorific energy of the laser pulses. The high amount of energy absorbed creates a highly compressed plasma (unstable ionised gas) that is released causing a shock wave. This shock wave fragments and ejects the layer of pollutant as fine articles that are then captured by a suction system.

With optimum laser beam parameters, only the coating, the oxide or the residue will be eliminated without damaging the substrate.

This type of laser treatment allows cleaning results that are impossible to obtain with conventional technology. In addition it is very environmentally friendly as it creates no chemical waste or dust.

Applications

Laser cleaning/pickling
The laser not only allows numerous types of surface/paintwork/coating/oxides to be removed, but also all sorts of residues present on the surface to be sublimated (grease, oil, dust, residues et.).

This can be achieved partially or totally dependent of the application. The laser technique is a non-contact/non-abrasive process that only heats the treated area very slightly. No chemical agents are used. Depending on the power used we are able to remove between 1µm and 2 mm of layer and localise the treatment by band, zone etc. Once the layer has been reached the substrate will no longer be damaged by the laser.
Laser surface preparation: pre-treatment
Laser is also an excellent way of selectively cleaning surfaces that will need to be treated such as painting, coating, welding, brazing, plastic or metal coating, or joining. In addition, the correct setting of the laser beam allows the substrate to be textured resulting in considerably better adhesion and application quality.
Laser mould cleaning
The process for cleaning precision moulds by laser is an excellent economic, automated and ecological alternative to traditional methods. This ecological process quickly and safely removes stubborn residues without producing chemical or abrasive waste.
Laser texturing
Laser technology can be very precisely adjusted for the surface treatment of metallic materials. This allows powerful, high-intensity laser pulses to be applied to create different types of precise micro structures for visual and mechanical effects.
Laser marking
Practically all types of materials can be marked with laser marking systems: metals, plastics, semi-conductors, glass and ceramic sheets, as well as organic surfaces such as wood, paper and leather. Depending on the intensity of the laser beam on the substrate, the desired marks can be produced by the change of colour, engraving or micro-fusion.
Laser restoration
Laser technology is a unique and remarkable tool for architectural restoration and conservation. Laser cleaning has turned out to be the most delicate and efficient way of restoring the beauty of historic architectural treasures, including sculptures, bronze statues, ornate terracotta and the entire façades of buildings. Laser cleaning removes harmful and unsightly deposits without chemical products, abrasives, dust or residues that could pose a risk to humans and the planet.
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