Laser Paint Removal

Laser paint removal is an environmentally friendly process used to remove paint layers from metal surfaces without damaging the substrate. It’s also known as laser coating removal and de-coating.

The process can be applied to any metals, although the most typical are steel, aluminum and copper. It can be used for different types of coatings, including powder coating, e-coating, phosphate coating, and insulating coating. Laser cleaning can also be used for similar applications such as laser rust removal, oxide removal, mold cleaning, and surface preparation.


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How Does Laser Paint Removal Work?

How a laser beam removes a coating from a metal surface

Laser paint removal works with a process called laser ablation, which is when a laser beam delivers sufficient energy to ablate the coating. As the paint is vaporized, the metal surface is left intact.

To achieve ablation, the laser energy is released in short pulses and at a set repetition rate. As a result, the pulsed laser generates shockwaves that eject coatings when they reach their ablation threshold. One of the benefits is the ability to remove coatings from precise areas.

The laser ablates the coating without damaging the metal underneath. When using a single-mode fiber laser, the laser can texture the base metal at the same time if needed. When using a multimode fiber laser, the process cannot texture the metal surface, but it can reach faster cleaning speeds.


Why Choose Laser Technology for Paint Removal?

  • Duct tape

    Replace Part Masking

    Manufacturers in the automotive industry spend a lot of time and labor masking parts. This slows down the coating process and often leads to quality issues.

    Laser paint removal is much more effective and can be integrated inline in high-volume automated productions—without slowing them down. All you need to do is coat the entire part, then use the laser to remove paint from specific areas.

  • Laser stripping paint icon

    Selectively Remove Paint

    With its micron precision, laser cleaning can strip paint and other contaminants from specific areas without touching or damaging the rest, making it ideal to prepare high-quality parts for welding or assembly. It represents an alternative to processes like sandblasting for paint stripping applications that demand high precision.

  • Refurbishing tools icon

    Avoid Damage to the Metal

    Damaging metal surfaces while removing paint is costly. It can increase your scrap rate or diminish the quality of your parts. Unlike other paint removal methods, laser surface cleaning is a non-contact process fine-tuned to remove paint without affecting the metal.

  • Conveyor machine

    Maximize Uptime

    Laser paint stripping is a great solution for high-volume productions. As opposed to abrasive blasting and manual masking, laser cleaning can be completely automated and doesn’t need maintenance between parts. As a result, paint removal does not become a bottleneck in your production line.

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    Create a Safe Workplace

    Some paint stripping methods have more security risks than others. Laser cleaning is a lot simpler to implement than mechanical and chemical alternatives and has fewer risks. You only have to manage fumes.

    Laserax provides complete integration services, including fume extraction systems and laser safety. This way, you don't have to worry about safety.

Industrial Laser Cleaning Solutions

Robot Laser Cleaning Machine

Laser systems can be mounted on robots for all types of paint lines to selectively remove paint and other contaminants. The process can also leave a texture that improves surface properties like adhesion or friction.

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Rotary Table Laser Cleaning Workstation

Rotary workstations are the most efficient manually loaded machines on the market. They can be equipped with a rotary indexer to easily access multiple areas to be cleaned.

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High-power laser system

High-Power Laser Cleaning Systems

Laserax manufactures high-power fiber laser systems specifically designed to remove coatings from metal surfaces, most commonly steel, aluminum, and copper.

We offer up to 3000W of laser power for demanding industrial applications. The laser power you need will depend on your available cycle time and on the thickness of your coatings.

Read the technical paper for laser paint removal speeds

Industries that Benefit from Laser Paint Removal

Powertrain & drivetrain systems

Automotive Industry

While masking is traditionally used in the automotive industry, laser cleaning is a more efficient and cost-effective solution that is gaining in popularity.

Many parts are coated, painted, phosphated, or laminated to improve material properties. These coatings need to be absent from certain areas before assembly, welding or bonding.

Automotive sectors that benefit from laser paint removal include Foundry, Casting, Drivetrain, Powertrain, E-Drive, Seating, Stamping, Battery, and E-Motor.

Agriculture Industry

Agriculture and heavy equipment manufacturers are increasingly replacing masking with laser cleaning. While part masking is slow and expensive, laser cleaning offers a high return on investment and can keep up with a high production pace.

Parts that benefit from laser cleaning include castings, drivetrains, powertrains, seat rails, stampings, and more.

Aircraft engineer repairing and maintaining an airplane jet engine

Aerospace Industry

During maintenance of aircraft parts, coatings need to be removed before being refurbished. Compared to blasting methods, laser technology is an environmentally friendly alternative that is safer for operators.

The cost of aerospace parts and high-quality requirements make laser technology a worthwhile investment.

Other Industries

Laser paint removal is an emerging technology that is precise and efficient. It offers endless possibilities and can be used for applications in a variety of industries.