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08 Nov, 2023, Company News

Development of the Laser Cleaning Industry

Development of the Laser Cleaning Industry
  1. Cleaning of molds:

Every year, tire manufacturing companies around the world produce billions of tires. The cleaning of tire molds during the production process must be fast and reliable in order to save downtime. Traditional cleaning methods include sandblasting, ultrasonic or carbon dioxide cleaning, but these methods usually require the molds to cool for several hours at high heat before being moved to the cleaning equipment, resulting in long cleaning times and potential damage to the precision of the molds. Chemical solvents and noise also pose safety and environmental concerns. Laser cleaning, on the other hand, utilizes fiber optics for transmission, making it highly flexible to use. It can easily reach the corners and hard-to-clean areas of the molds by connecting the laser cleaning system with fiber optics. Additionally, since rubber does not gasify, there is no production of toxic gases that could impact the safety of the working environment. Laser cleaning technology for tire molds has been widely adopted in the tire industry in Europe and America. Although the initial investment cost is higher, the benefits obtained from saving downtime, avoiding mold damage, ensuring work safety, and saving raw materials quickly outweigh the cost. Cleaning trials conducted on the production line of Shanghai Double Coin Heavy Load Tire Company using Quantel's LASERLASTE laser cleaning system showed that a set of large heavy load tire molds can be cleaned online in just 2 hours. The economic benefits are evident compared to conventional cleaning methods.

The elastic film layer used to prevent sticking on food industry molds needs to be replaced regularly to ensure hygiene. Laser cleaning without the use of chemical agents is particularly suitable for this application.

  1. Cleaning of weapons and equipment:

Laser cleaning technology is widely used in weapon maintenance. With a laser cleaning system, rust and contaminants can be efficiently and quickly removed, and the cleaning can be automated with selective cleaning of specific areas. Laser cleaning not only provides a higher level of cleanliness compared to chemical cleaning processes but also minimizes damage to the surface of the objects. Quantel's LASERLASTE, with different parameters, can even create a dense oxide protective film or a melted metal layer on the surface of metal objects, improving surface strength and corrosion resistance. The waste generated from laser cleaning does not significantly contribute to environmental pollution. Furthermore, laser cleaning allows for remote operation, reducing health risks for operators.

  1. Removal of old paint from aircraft:

Laser cleaning systems have long been used in the aviation industry in Europe. After a certain period of time, the surface of an aircraft needs to be repainted, but before repainting, the old paint must be completely removed. Traditional mechanical paint removal methods can easily damage the aircraft's metal surface, posing a safety hazard for flight. By using multiple laser cleaning systems, the paint layer on an Airbus A320 aircraft can be completely removed within two days without damaging the metal surface.

  1. Cleaning of building facades:

With the rapid economic development in China, more and more skyscrapers are being built, highlighting the increasing need for cleaning the exterior walls of buildings. LASERLASTE laser cleaning systems, with fiber optics up to 70 meters in length, provide an excellent solution for cleaning building facades. It can effectively remove various pollutants from various materials such as stone, metal, and glass, with much higher efficiency compared to conventional cleaning methods. It can also remove black spots and stains on various stone materials of buildings. Laser cleaning trials conducted on buildings and stone steles at Shaolin Temple in Songshan demonstrated the excellent restoration effect of laser cleaning in protecting ancient architecture.

Advantages of laser cleaning:

Compared to traditional cleaning methods such as mechanical friction, chemical corrosion, liquid-solid powerful impact, and high-frequency ultrasound cleaning, laser cleaning has significant advantages.

  1. Laser cleaning is a green cleaning method that does not require the use of any chemical agents or cleaning solutions. The waste generated from laser cleaning is mainly solid powder, which has a small volume, is easy to store, and can be recycled, effectively solving the environmental pollution caused by chemical cleaning.
  2. Traditional cleaning methods often involve contact cleaning, which exerts mechanical forces on the surface of the cleaned object, resulting in damage to the object's surface or attachment of the cleaning medium to the object's surface, making it difficult to remove and causing secondary pollution. Laser cleaning, with its non-abrasive and non-contact nature, eliminates these problems.
  3. Laser can be transmitted through fiber optics and combined with robotic arms and robots for convenient remote operation, enabling cleaning of areas that are difficult to reach with traditional methods. This ensures the safety of personnel, especially in hazardous environments.
  4. Laser cleaning can effectively remove various types of pollutants from the surfaces of different materials, achieving a level of cleanliness that conventional cleaning methods cannot. It can selectively clean contaminants on material surfaces without damaging the material itself.
  5. Laser cleaning is highly efficient, saving time.

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