Laser Oxide Removal
Before welding and several other surface treatments, metal surfaces must be clean and without oxides. Laser oxide removal can be used to remove those contaminants without introducing impurities in the base metal. Using the laser’s micron precision, oxide can be removed in controlled layers and from predefined areas.
Fiber laser cleaning systems can remove oxides from ferrous and non-ferrous metals alike. These systems stand out compared to chemical treatments, mechanical brushes and other common methods.
Why Use Laser Technology for Oxide Removal
Replace manual and labor-intensive cleaning solutions with an automated and repeatable process.
Remove oxide layers without abrasives which damage your machines and chemicals which require special handling procedures and powerful exhaust fans.
Our cleanings systems are made with industrial grade components to continuously remove oxides for years with minimal maintenance.
Integrate a technology that is safe and does not require PPE with our Class 1 certification services and fume management expertise.
How Does Laser Oxide Removal Work?
When you focus a laser beam on a surface, a large quantity of its energy is transferred to the targeted material. If that energy is superior to the material’s ablation threshold, the material will undergo sublimation or vaporization. This reaction called laser ablation is used to remove contaminants and oxides.
Oxides have an ablation threshold well below that of most base metals. Hence, we can adjust the laser parameters so that the oxide is removed without damaging the base metal. Different types of oxides have different ablation thresholds. For example, light-orange rust and black oxide generated near welding areas have a lower ablation threshold than mill scale layers and are thus removed faster. In fact, most oxides are quickly removed in a single laser pass.
Read more on the subject: How Does Laser Cleaning Work in 5 Steps
Laser Oxide Removal Applications
Laser cleaning can be used as a pre-welding or post-welding treatment to remove oxides and other contaminants. The results: strong welds, durable coatings, beautiful surface finishes, and completely clean surfaces.
You can integrate laser oxide removal directly in the production line and even run the process at the same time as welding.
Surface Preparation & Pre-treatment
If your manufacturing process includes coating or bonding treatments like powder coating or adhesive bonding, you can leverage the surface roughness generated by laser oxide removal to prepare surfaces for those treatments.
You can use laser oxide removal, for example, to clean and texture brake pads before applying paint. In that case, paint adhesion is optimal on the surface generated by the laser.
Oxide Removal After Plasma & Laser Cutting
If you use oxygen cutting, you may need to remove the oxide byproduct that results from the cutting process. Plate and sheet metal parts are typical examples of parts that can be treated with laser cleaning to remove oxide.
With up to 500W of laser power, our OEM laser cleaning systems and engineered cleaning solutions can meet the most challenging cycle times, making them perfect for inline integration. The power required for oxide removal mostly depends on your available cycle time, the thickness of the oxide scale, and the type of oxide.
Our mobile laser cleaning systems can also remove oxide from machines or tanks on-site without having to move them to a workshop or to a cleaning station.