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How Does Laser Cleaning Break Through the Application Bottleneck?

In order to continue to expand the application market of laser, we need to find new growth points.

In addition to traditional cutting, marking and welding, the latest application in the process application in recent years is laser cleaning, which is a promising growth point.

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Since the end of 2016, domestic enterprises took the lead in launching the cleaning machine for assembling medium power pulse fiber lasers, it has attracted great attention from the industry and has been hot for about 3 years.

There are dozens of enterprises participating in the production and research of laser cleaning equipment in China.

Many laser manufacturers also have high hopes for this, and are trying to promote new pulse fiber lasers with higher power.

1. Application fields of laser cleaning

There is no doubt that anyone who knows and has experienced the laser cleaning process can be sure that this technology will have great application space in the future.

It is a process of using high-frequency pulse light energy to impact rust and dirt on the surface of the workpiece to separate it from the workpiece and vaporize it with high energy.

Traditional cleaning methods, such as sand blasting, dry ice, mechanical polishing, acidic liquid or chemical cleaning agent, are easy to cause air and water pollution, and may also cause secondary damage to the human body.

Laser cleaning can vaporize pollutants, and equipped with adsorption and dust removal equipment to basically achieve zero pollution.

It is a very efficient and clean cleaning method.

Laser cleaning may bring important changes to the cleaning industry at some time in the future.

Principle of laser cleaning

Principle of laser cleaning

The beam output by the laser cleaning head is often in a horizontal bar shape, and the surface swept by the beam will be cleaned.

It is highly efficient and time-saving, especially suitable for large-area and large-scale rust and dirt surface cleaning.

Ordinary metal plates, high-speed rails, rails, ships, molds, aircraft skins, engineering machinery, petrochemical industry, mining, nuclear power, cultural relics and weapons.

Many cleaning scenarios need to be customized, and they also need to be cleaned and maintained regularly.

Moreover, the maintenance cycle is not too long, which is the easiest to form a batch.

For example, the molds are often stuck with engine oil in the process of use, or they may be rusted when they are not used.

The number of molds is large, and the need for cleaning is large.

Some plastic molds and tire molds are easy to leave leftover materials after the products are finished, which delays the continuous production. Therefore, they need to be cleaned in time. Laser is a very good choice.

For example, if the rails are exposed to the air for a long time, they will be rusty and need to be cleaned;

For ships sailing on rivers and seas, if they need regular maintenance, they can use laser to clean the ship body.

Laser cleaning is easy to realize automatic, integrated and intelligent cleaning.

It can even be integrated into gantry, manipulator, lifting platform and other supporting environments to realize large-scale and ultra-high workpiece cleaning.

The hand-held cleaning head is also very flexible and can clean the workpiece in any direction.

How Does Laser Cleaning Break Through the Application Bottleneck? 1

Comparison of laser derusting

2. Challenges of laser cleaning

Although laser cleaning is promising, in fact, the market sales volume is not as expected.

The enterprises engaged in laser cleaning have not reaped a good order volume.

Almost all of them are customers who buy or customize equipment alone.

It can be said that the market application of laser cleaning has not yet formed a batch.

The promotion of laser cleaning has encountered great challenges, leading to the gradual cooling of the heat of laser cleaning after 2019.

In fact, laser cleaning has been hot in China for more than two years.

In Europe, America, Japan and other countries, fiber laser cleaning has not received much attention.

First, the cost of laser cleaning equipment is still relatively high.

Today, laser cleaning has developed from 100 watt level to kilowatt level power, and the procurement cost has also dropped significantly, but it still maintains the level of 100000 yuan and hundreds of thousands of yuan.

Traditional cleaning is very cheap, and dry ice cleaning equipment is as low as 10000 yuan.

This makes it difficult for users to reverse their choice of use, and the cost of one-time equipment input is large, let alone bulk purchase.

How Does Laser Cleaning Break Through the Application Bottleneck? 2
Laser cleaning of titanium alloy surface oxide

Secondly, the output beam of laser cleaning is directed at the surface of the workpiece, which means that it is good at processing the plane, which is also its limitation.

In case of irregular shape, including corner position and narrow space, laser cleaning is difficult to reach.

If it is necessary to clean the inside of the workpiece, such as the inner wall of the pipe, it is even more difficult to achieve laser cleaning.

Instead, it can only be achieved by full immersion pickling.

Finally, the laser cleaning treatment of rust is effective, but in practical application, the dirt on the surface of production equipment or products is various, and there are also different components, such as oil stain and semi-solid matter.

It is not suitable for cleaning with just one power laser.

At present, the research on laser cleaning of various dirt objects is still insufficient.

In addition, at present, the laser cleaning power can reach several kilowatts, but the cleaning is not the better.

At present, whether the high-power beam will damage the surface of the workpiece and how to control the damage degree still need further research.

3. How to break the bottleneck in laser cleaning

In order to break through the bottleneck of market growth, laser cleaning urgently needs to invest more process application research.

At present, laser cleaning means that the laser and cleaning equipment have been preliminarily developed and mature, but the process application is insufficient.

Since the promotion time in China is only a few years, the application scenarios are still limited.

According to the current laser development trend, it can be predicted that the laser for laser cleaning will also be reduced to a certain extent, which can effectively reduce the purchase cost of users.

When the price performance ratio has exceeded the psychological acceptance ability of ordinary manufacturers and users, the purchase volume will rise.

At present, many end users do not know about laser cleaning, and it still needs a certain time process in promotion.

This requires the joint efforts of people in the industry to create a good publicity effect for laser cleaning.

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