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A Complete Guide on Laser Cleaning Applications

17th Sep 2021
Read Time:14.55 min
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  • surface cleaning
  • ablating
  • Laser Cleaning
  • laser cleaning machine

The new era of technology is driven by innovative engineering solutions

A Tradition of Lightning Fast Glare

The new era of technology is driven by innovative engineering solutions and with the lightning speed, lasers are leading the game. Lasers have invaded in almost all strata of industry. One of the amazing creation with lasers is the laser cleaning technology. Laser cleaning refers to the removal of contaminates and impurities from the surface of metals. There are various methods used for surface cleaning in many industries around the world. So, here comes the method having new sets of advantages and is very efficient on its own, referred as Laser Cleaning.

Laser cleaning also known as ablating, nowadays is catching attention of the laser industry. The process in which the beam hits the coating, the molecular bond in dust or rust layer are broken and are ejected from the substrate is quoted as ‘Laser Ablation’. To summarise, it can be said that layer to be removed is simply vaporised by laser beam removing material from the substrate.

Laser removes the upper layer of the substrate using laser irradiation. In this, high powered laser pulse is aimed at the surface to be cleaned and the removed material is vaporised. This is repeated till the required clean depth has been achieved.

The Process

Laser Cleaning has two cleaning processes, In First Process, the layers to be removed have chemical and physical composition, significantly different from the surface of the substrate. For Example: paint, rubber coating and insulation. In Second Process, the impurities or contaminates to be removed are deeply embedded with the surface of material which can be cleaned by physically removing the entire upper layer by laser cleaning machine. This is done by laser surface decontamination. For example: Laser Scrabbling used for removal of radioactive concrete layer.

Laser cleaning solutions can overcome problems faced with rust removal and other industrial cleaning applications.

Laser for surface cleaning is one of the key applications in the industry. To attain the application with utmost precision and efficiency SLTL Group has introduced the fiber laser cleaner system. This system is used for the surface removal process and is highly capable of removing rust, grease, colour and other particles from the surface of the metal.

Bland Historic Techniques for Metal Cleaning

The days when lasers were not the case, people used diverse processes in metal cleaning application, such as in mechanical method; Abrasive blasting, Wire brushing, Tumbling, solvent cleaning and vapour degreasing, acid, pickling, electrolytic polishing and alkaline de-rusting, alkaline detergent cleaning, emulsion cleaning and many more.

Pitfalls of Classical Methods for Metal Cleaning

The old methods for metal cleaning are harmful which results in environmental pollution and damages substrate metal.

Traditional method are tedious and time-consuming when it comes to removal of stubborn contaminants. Sometimes it might be hazardous to use chemical agents as it can create chemical cross contamination, which can harm workers and consumers. Mechanical method is labor intensive and the polished parts can be harmful if the person directly encounters, the metal strength is weakened and some abrasive or contaminants can still be embedded; cannot be removed completely as compared to lasers. The electrolytic method need extremely high energy and also not good for the environment as the burning of fossil fuels for electricity production can harm the atmosphere with harmful gases and the large amount of effluents are produced during the electrolytic method. The chemical method produces inert material like coke that cannot be removed. The chemicals used for the processing is harmful for the human and a severe damage can occur if improper procedures are applied. The procedure demands high expertise for handling.

What’s new?

Rust cleaning laser systems are creating the new buzz in the town. The innovative technique to remove rust with laser cleaning is becoming modern wonder in laser industry. By selecting a specific material to be removed, fiber laser offers a fast, as well as a set-and-forget solution for many industries.

Laser Cleaning- Surface cleaning is one of the key applications in the industry. To attain the application with utmost precision and efficiency SLTL Group has introduced the Fiber Laser Cleaning System. This system is used for the surface removal process and is highly capable of removing rust, grease, colour and other particles from the surface of the metal.

Why Laser Cleaning is a Smart Choice?

Laser cleaning solution is the most feasible way for surface cleaning. Laser Cleaning is considered to be environmental friendly as there is no use of chemical agents and cleaning fluids as in traditional methods. The traditional Cleaning method is contact type which can damage object, resulting in improper cleaning while laser cleaning is non-contact solution. Moreover, laser can reach to difficult parts which is not possible with traditional methods. So, laser can ensure the safety of the personnel when used in dangerous places. Also, laser Cleaning removes various impurities on the surface achieving a degree of cleanliness that cannot be achieved by traditional method. Surely, Laser cleaning is an alternative of traditional abrasive and chemical process used in heavy industries such as aerospace and ship building. The process can be made cost-effective in coating removal by the use of laser solution. Hence choosing laser cleaning is a smart choice.

Befitting materials like a Pro

Laser cleaning can work flawlessly on Aluminium (anodized/polished/cast), Stainless steel/mild steel, Titanium, Copper, Brass, Nickel, Galvanized Metals, Painted metal alloys, Multi-coated Metal Materials, Cast iron and chrome, Carbide and many more

Amazing Application with No Substitute

The concept of laser cleaning machine should reach to all the industries in order to aware them about elimination of a few chemical processes with the help of lasers, benefitting the industry as well as the environment. Below mentioned are a few applications of our robust solution, roughening of metal surface to create friction, it can be used for tires, electronics, food and other mould cleaning. For a rapid cleaning of nuclear power components. Laser cleaners are used for oxide Treatment in Ship Production or Maintenance. The flexibility of laser cleaners facilitates to clean and condition a 3D Surface. The versatile laser cleaning can be used for metal surface texturing and modification. Laser cleaners are used for joining pre-treatment Cleaning, and ablation for anodized, painted or coated surfaces. Laser cleaners can do paint stripping and removal of paint with ease.

It removes extremely fine top layer of the material to remove rust and corrosion from metal. Laser cleaners can remove oil stains and are used for contaminant cleaning and metal mould residue cleaning and metal degreasing prior to joining, soldering, or welding. The powerful lasers are used for stone figure surface dust & attachment cleaning.

Laser Cleaning Applications

Where Does Laser Cleaning System Work?

The functions of laser cleaning are tremendous. It is a useful technique for different strata of industry. Whether it is pre-welding metal cleaning or de-painting. Laser cleaning machine is widely used for different purposes, that is:

  1. Pre-Welding Metal Cleaning
    Efficient pre-welding treatment or material preparation, which may include laser rust removal, e-coating contamination, or treatment of other selective layers.
  2. Post-Welding Cleaning in Preparation for Coating
    Easy removal of the rough and charred post-welding area to securely adhere paint or coating to the welded material in preparation for coatings.
  3. Ship Maintenance Interior and Exterior
    Maintenance repairs for engines, small boats, critical components, door hinges, door locks, and latches. Removal of salt water stains and more to prevent corrosion, maintain functionality, avoid premature failures, and prevent further deterioration and damage.
  4. Assembled Component Maintenance Clean-ups and Reconditioning
    Smoothing of surfaces and removal of scaling from engines, generators, anchoring chains, winches, gear shifting components, throttle components, fuel pumps, and water separators, without disassembly.
  5.  Parts Identification Engraving for Maintenance or Inventory Management
    Marking and engraving of individual parts without human evaluation of conditions.
  6. Non-Erasable Service and Quality Marks 
  7. Can be used for weld quality control, repair work, and more on newly welded piping, high-pressure fuel pipes, balance tanks, pressurized compartments, water pipes, and high-pressure vapour pipes.
  8. Selective De- painting
    Selective cleaning on access points, service latches, and more.

Fascinating Features:

  • Portability Redefined: Laser Cleaning System is a handheld, compact size device that allows it to operate on large and complex material surfaces with ease.
  • Power-Packed System: The system delivers enough power to remove even the thicker layers of particles from the surface.
  • No Complex Software: Laser Cleaning Systems comes in with easy to use control panel. Allowing users to make necessary variations without hustling with complexities of a software.
  • No medium used: The only consumption required in the machine is Electricity which again depend upon the samples you want to process.
  • Environment friendly: Eliminating usage of various chemicals to laser technology, along with minimal noise and dust emission the laser cleaning operation is highly environment friendly.
  • Varied applications: Laser Surface Cleaning can be used in almost every sector i.e. from micro-scale to large-scale cleaning of material. Its application ranges from large commercial aircraft to micro-chips.
  • It also plays an important role in fields like automobile manufacturing, military equipment, liquid crystal display cleaning, chewing gum residue removal and other related field.
  • Time saving: Cleaning is precise and Selective i.e. desired area can be cleaned in lesser time making the output highly efficient.

Few of the Industries making the most of Laser Cleaning Solution:

The laser surface preparation of metallic surfaces in the automotive industry is a unique method to support adhesive bonding that cleans with unmatched quality, repeatability, and reliability to ensure long-term adhesion performance and excellent electrical connectivity. The powerful laser cleaning is also used in aerospace industry for Bonding Preparation, Coating Removal, Composite lay-up tool cleaning, Partial, precise paint stripping for repair purposes.

For painting rollers it is used in cleaning of printing machine cylinders and ink rollers (steel and ceramic rollers, but also calendar and transport rollers) and Cleaning of anilox rollers for the transfer of adhesives for the production of pressure-sensitive adhesive tapes.

Laser cleaning has a vital role in medical technology for the residue-free pre-treatment of stainless steel components with safe ageing resistance to hot steam sterilisation.

Lasers are also used in mechanical industry, nuclear decontamination, electronics industry, rubber and tyre industry, machining of CFRP materials in the aerospace industry, cleaning of metallic tools and moulds for the manufacturing processes of many metal components.

Laser cleaning is used in military and defence in coating removal of weapons, corrosion control, hazardous paint removal, nuclear decontamination, etc.

SLTL’s Laser cleaning system helps to clear the metal surface of any kind. The high power laser beam technology removes unwanted material without affecting the base material. Without exposing any harmful gases, this fiber laser cleaning technology is safe for the environment as well as the humankind. The process of cleaning does not require high expertise which makes the device easy to operate by anyone. The handheld system make the device mobile and convenient to port to any surface. The machine is designed to clean at any angle and uneven surfaces with ease. Get rid of rust, grease, paint stains, oxidation area of any kind instantly with a SLTL Group’s smart solution.

Other Applications
Mold Cleaning | Joining pre-treatment Cleaning | Ablation (Anodized, Painted or Coated) | Rust and Corrosion Removal | Scale, salt deposits | Oil and dirt deposits| Stone cleaning | Road and soil deposits | Metal surface treatment | Paint Stripping and Removal | Degreasing | De-painting | Anodizing removal | 3D Surface Cleaning and Conditioning | Surface Texturing | Selective paint Removal

Author Bio


Sam is the marketing manager at SLTL Group having more than ten years of expertise in the industry. While being associated with the Group, he has ingrained knowledge about the programming and development of laser solutions like Fiber Laser cutting, marking, cleaning, welding, hardening, cladding, annealing, and micro-machining solutions, as well as hands-on experience in robotics and automation. Not just this, being a technology-driven company, SLTL strongly emphasizes advancing the systems with IoT, Industry 4.0, AI, ANN and other special purpose machines for equipping smarter factories.