Lasers are an effective and practical way to remove surface rust from metal-based products.
Laser rust removal is the use of high-speed lasers to eliminate particles, dust and rust from a metal good’s surface without causing damage. Using a laser to clean rust is generally safer and faster than harsher chemicals. While results vary based on the laser’s power, they’re typically equal to or better than traditional rust-removal methods.
Each metal component has unique properties, including its ablation threshold — the least energy density needed to remove the unwanted material. An operator uses the rust-removal laser machine to reach the ablation point and break the rust’s molecular bonds with the metal.
Since the ablation point varies, operators can execute extremely precise material removal. For example, rust has a lower ablation threshold than aluminum or steel. Choosing a laser capable of meeting, but not exceeding, rust’s ablation point essentially vaporizes the surface rust while preventing damage to the substrate.
Ablation point differences allow the approach to be compatible with eliminating other unwanted surface coatings, including:
Laser cleaners for rust generally come in either continuous beam or pulsing beam. The latter offers highly effective performance and faster results without overheating the underlying component.
You can only use a laser to remove rust when the component’s substrate is metal. The laser’s high speeds simplify reaching the ablation point, breaking the molecular bond and facilitating material removal.
Laser rust removal has no clean-up requirements and can be automated, saving time and money. Other benefits make this approach increasingly popular for original equipment manufacturers, including:
Production stages and applications benefitting from laser rust removal include:
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