Laser Cleaning Performance for Metal Contaminants

This technical paper reports the cleaning speeds that were obtained during tests by Laserax using the LXQ‑500 OEM laser cleaning system. Cleaning speeds were tested at different power levels for typical industrial contaminants, namely rust, paint, dust, oil, and mill scale.

LXQ-500 OEM is a laser cleaning system developed and manufactured by Laserax. It offers a laser power of up to 500 W, but the LXQ series also includes lower-power systems (100 W, 200 W, and 300 W). The system’s parameters can be modified to remove different contaminants from different metals. It can be integrated into industrial machines to remove surface contaminants, or to prepare and texture surfaces for subsequent manufacturing steps.

Rust Removal

Rust takes different aspects depending on the degree of rust. It is classified into corresponding grades based on international standards. Cleaning speeds for rust removal were tested for those grades.

Cleaning speeds for rust removal - (cm2/s)

  100 W 200 W 300 W 500 W
Grade A 12–21 25–42 35–60 50–75
Grade B 4–12 10–25 12–35 15–50
Grade C 1–4 2–10 3–12 5–15
Grade D  0.2–1 0.4–2 0.6–3 1–5

Paint Removal

Cleaning speeds were tested for thickness levels that correspond to common types of paints used in the industrial/automotive market. Thickness levels between 25 µm and 50 µm correspond to liquid coating (e.g., urethane primer and liquid polyester). Thickness levels between 50 µm and 150 µm correspond to powder coating (e.g., epoxy primer and polyester coating).

Cleaning speeds for paint removal - (cm2/s)

Thickness 100 W 200 W 300 W 500 W
25 µm 2–6 4–12 6–16 10–25
50 µm 1–3 2–6 3–8 4.5–12
100 µm 0.5–1 1–2 1.5–3 2.5–4.5
150 µm 0.4–0.7 0.8–1.25 1.2–2 2–3

Other Contaminants (Oil, Dust & Mill Scale)

Cleaning speeds for other contaminants - (cm2/s)

  100 W 200 W 300 W 500 W
Oil 12–21 25–42 35–60 50–75
Dust 12–21 25–42 12–35 15–50
Mill scale 0.1–0.6 0.2–1.2 0.3–1.8 0.5–3