Laser Cleaning for Welding Applications

This technical paper reviews the benefits of implementing laser cleaning before and after welding applications. It also provides cleaning speeds for the Laserax LXQ-HP laser systems to show that laser cleaning can be integrated in production lines without affecting the production output.

Contaminant removal before welding

Welding quality strongly depends on the number of contaminants on the surface prior to welding.  Oxides, oil, grease and other corrosion inhibiting agents can lead to the formation of porosities in the welds. 

Porosities affect the quality of welding joints by reducing their yield strength, tensile strength, ductility, and fatigue life. 

Laser cleaning significantly improves welding quality by reducing the number and the size of porosities (in the figures to the right, remaining porosities are two to three times smaller).

Welding Results

Contaminant pre-weld laser cleaning results

Oxide removal after welding

The oxide layer generated by the welding process causes many problems. For painted and anodized parts, the weld line is a region where coating adhesion usually fails over time. Because the structure is exposed, it leads to corrosion and to the paint peeling off. 

Oxides can also prevent the passivation of welding joints, as with stainless steel, and create unaesthetic regions.

Laser cleaning prevents those problems by completely removing oxides with perfect repeatability.

Welding Results

oxide pre-weld laser cleaning results

Laser cleaning advantages

Laser cleaning guarantees that the welds will be free from defects. It also offers numerous advantages compared to traditional cleaning methods like chemical cleaning, abrasive blasting, and mechanical cleaning.

  • Inline integration with welding
  • High accuracy & repeatability
  • Fully automated
  • Fast contaminant removal
  • No chemicals & abrasives
  • Very low maintenance

Inline integration

LXQ-HP laser systems can be integrated into existing production lines without affecting the throughput. Welding and laser cleaning can also be performed simultaneously to minimize cycle time.

On demand, Laserax can demonstrate automated laser cleaning performances based on your test samples.

Laser cleaning speeds

Laser power 100 W 200 W 300 W 500 W
Max. line speed 2.96 cm/s 4.71 cm/s 5.85 cm/s 7.27 cm/s

* Speeds for cleaning aluminum before welding. The line width is 1.5 cm.


The Laserax cleaning machine used to perform
client tests

Pre-weld laser cleaning and laser welding
performed simultaneously

Download Laser Cleaning for Welding Applications Technical Paper