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Blog on laser marking & traceability, laser cleaning and safety standards

Laserax's Versatile Handheld Laser Cleaner

Laserax’s mobile laser cleaner can be used to clean weld, remove paint or rust, and for other surface preparation procedures. It requires no consumables and little to no maintenance over it entire useful life. It is fitted with an ergonomic articulated arm that supports the weight of the laser head. Click here to watch our video.

Applications

Laserax’s mobile laser cleaning system can replace, in many instances, cleaning processes such as: sandblasting, shot blasting, soda blasting, hydro blasting or water-based chemical solutions. Laser cleaning solves some of the most painful drawbacks of these processes. Lasers use no consumables. No filtering, recycling or replacement of sand, soda, iron pellets or water is required. It eliminates the need to handle dangerous chemicals.

Some of the most common applications of laser cleaning are weld cleaning as well as paint and rust removal.  Laser cleaning can also be used to remove glue and adhesives or to clean plastic injection molds, rubber molds and other manufacturing tools. Lasers are often used in the food industry for the maintenance and cleaning of stainless steel tanks and pipes. They can be used for surface preparation prior to applying other treatments, such as stainless steel passivation, chroming or anodization.

There is minimal maintenance associated with the use of the mobile laser systems, unless dust and fumes need to be captured and/or filtered, in which case you would have to change the filters and dispose of them safely. You might also have, from time to time, to clean the lens of the laser head with a soft cloth and alcohol.

Rust Removal on a Steel Pipe

 

 

video laser cleaning of rusted steel pipe

Weld Cleaning on Stainless Steel

Laser cleaning of weld on stainless steel
Stainless steel weld cleaned by laser

Paint Removal on Aluminum

Paint removal on aluminum

Laser paint removal on aluminum

How Does It Work

In a nutshell, every material has a specific ablation threshold. Materials with lower ablation thresholds, such as paint and adhesives, are easier to remove; they require less energy (or intensity). Metals have much higher ablation thresholds and therefore, they are more resistant to laser beams. If you set your laser beam just above the ablation threshold of paint, you will be able to remove the paint on aluminum without affecting the base metal, even after several passes. For a more detailed explanation, read the blog post How Laser Cleaning Works.

Laser parameters will vary widely from job to job. Laserax has tested several combinations and has stored them in the user interface of its handheld laser marking systems. With the push of a button you will be all set for most jobs that will come your way.

Lasers Used

Laserax’s mobile laser cleaners are equipped with infrared fiber lasers with a focal range +/- 25 mm (+/- 1 in). This means that our system can operate on flat, round, multi-step and other complex surfaces.

Ablation Fields

The human eye cannot see radiation in the near-infrared spectrum. To compensate, Laserax’s mobile laser cleaner features a viewfinder that indicates the limits of the ablation field. Operators will be able to visually target the area to be cleaned or marked. The maximum ablation field is a square of 30 cm (12 in.).

Laser cleaning on aluminum billet

Laser cleaning in automatic mode

Laser Marking Features

Laserax’s mobile laser cleaning system, with its laser marking application, can also mark serial numbers, barcodes or 2D barcodes (Data Matrix codes), text and logos.

 

 

video of laser marking on a aluminum moulded part

For more information on Data Matrix code, you can download our guide: Industrial Traceability - How Barcodes work.

Main Safety Features

When operated manually, a two-hand kill switch is used to ensure the safety of the operator.

Handheld laser cleaning in action

Main safety Features: two-hand kill switch

There is also an automatic mode that can be used to ensure highly uniform results. In this mode, the articulated arm is locked into position. The results of automatic laser cleaning are illustrated in the image titled Laser Cleaning in Automatic Mode seen above.

Articulated Manipulator

Mobile Laser Cleaning solution with operator

zero-gravity articulated arm

An ergonomic articulated manipulator supports the weight of the laser head, which eliminates strain on the operator and making it accessible to anyone. Mechanical locks and pneumatic assistance also improve usability.

Laserax’s mobile laser cleaning system is fully autonomous. It features an air compressor to meet the needs of the pneumatic assisted manipulator. All you need is to plug in a standard wall outlet and you’re good to go.

Mobility

A wheeled cart hosts a cabinet for the laser source and controller. It supports the articulated arm, user interface and compressor. The cart features locking casters to ensure stability for uniform cleaning and prevent movement during laser operation.

The industrial cabinet for the laser source and controllers is cooled to ensure optimal environmental conditions for laser operation.

User Interface

Mobile Laser Cleaning System user interface

Laserax's user interface for handheld laser cleaning system

Laserax’s handheld laser cleaning system is equipped with a color LCD touchscreen user interface to control the cleaning operation. It stores the laser parameters for many preset cleaning jobs. It has an intuitive interface that uses a lot of pictures, making it easy to use for operators of varying experience levels. It is through this interface that the operator can toggle between preview mode (viewfinder) and lasing mode for cleaning or marking.

Video of Laserax's Mobile Laser Cleaning System

Click here to watch video of Laserax's mobile laser cleaning system

 

Additional Features of Laserax’s Mobile Laser Cleaning System

Laser Optical Power

30 W, 50 W, 100 W
Contact our technical specialists for the availability of our 500 W high power laser <Ask an expert>

Supply Voltage

120 Vac for 30 W, 50 W or 100 W
240 Vac for 500 W

Power Consumption

Laser: 650 W
Cooling unit: 350 W

Dimensions

Width: 1 m (39 ½ in)
Weight: 205 kg

Maximum Reach

Vertical: 1,72 m (67 3/4 in)
Horizontal: 2 m (78 3/4 in)

For more specific technical specifications download Handheld Laser Cleaning System by Laserax.

Laser Safety Rating

Laserax’s mobile laser system is a Class IV laser system that is used without enclosures, as defined in international standards IEC 60825-1 and ANSI Z136.1. For more information on laser safety classifications, you can read our blog on laser classes and safety standards.

 

Download the Guide: Industrial Traceability: How Barcodes Work

 


 

Sources: 
Rockwell, Benjamin. (Ed.). (2015). Laser Safety Guide (12th ed.). Orlando, FL: Laser Institute of America, 50 p.

Posted by Normand Lemieux, BBA

Normand Lemieux

Normand is a well-rounded and autonomous marketing professional with a recent specialization in web marketing. He thrives to share experiences, to apply knowledge, to learn new things and get stuff done.

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