Laser dust removal is an important process of removing dust from a surface. It is also referred to as laser ablation. Laser ablation is basically the process of removing material from a solid surface simply by irradiating it with a laser beam. You can remove any type of dust with this method, like plastic, metallic, and organic dust. In this process, the laser beam irradiates the surface by which burnt off dust gets vaporized and extracted by using a proper dust extraction nozzle.
Here you also need to know that dust is not the only element that needs to be removed from a laser surface. There are various thin oxide layers and debris present on the surface which might be created after a few days of storing a part in intensely different environments.
However, the laser cleaning system removes all types of unwanted elements like stainless steel oxide, powder coating, rust, aluminum oxide, etc., from the surface. There are several laser cleaning solutions available like rotary tables, on-the-fly cleaning machines, handheld lasers, robot arms, etc. Also, consider replacing parts with quality trumpf laser parts when required. And for emergencies save trumpf spare parts for each laser part. After knowing the basics about dust removal methods from the laser surface, let us take a deep dive into dust removal applications, more methods useful for removing dust, tips for the same, etc.
Common Dust Removal Applications
Laser dust removal is popularly useful to ensure that laser surfaces are perfectly clean before any process like power coating, welding, adhesive bonding, etc. takes place from it. For different results, requirements, applications, one needs to adjust the cycle of the laser cleaning process.
For instance, some manufacturers may require a textured surface for improving adhesion before coating. So how can they adjust the laser cleaning process? They can modify the roughness of the surface while cleaning it. This process is known as laser texturing.
Especially for welding applications, the laser usually does not smoothen the roughness. Instead it leaves the metal surface unharmed to make sure that the integrity of the part is preserved after welding.
Methods for Removing the Dust
Here we will talk about traditional methods of cleaning. This includes manual surface cleaning, ultrasonic baths, and burn-off ovens to clean the dust from the laser surface.
1. Manual Surface Cleaning
In this method, you need to clean the laser parts with a clean cloth dipped in an adequate amount of cleaning solutions such as acetone. This method provides required results if you skip on mistakes like using dirty clothes, lacking precision, touching the cleaned surface without wearing sterile gloves, and forgetting to clean specific parts.
2. Ultrasonic Baths
Ultrasonic baths include alcohol or acetone. These baths emit ultrasonic waves. This wave then travels through the liquid in order to dislodge dust. This is an effective method, but you need professionals to handle it. Additionally, it is also a long and time consuming process.
3. Burn Off Ovens
Burn off ovens helps in getting rid of organic residues by decomposing them in the form of gases and vapors. These ovens remove powder coating, dust, and other residues. Burn off ovens are high in cost and are expensive to run. But these ovens make laser cleaning much more manageable.
Tips for Laser Dust Removal
As we know, a perfect process of dust removal is not only about cleaning the laser surface and removing dust. It is a process where you need to be careful about how you are cleaning the surface as it will eventually affect the quality of the laser parts and its surfaces. Thus, you should consider some important tips while cleaning the laser surface:
- Once you have cleaned the laser parts with all the precautions, handle them with care and avoid touching them with bare hands. Always have gloves on your hands, otherwise, it will hamper the performance of the laser.
- Do not forget to perform the post-process treatments. Doing this right after cleaning the parts will help prevent dust and oxidation.
- Use an efficient dust extractor having a proper airflow for the cleaning purpose otherwise, you will end up having dust collections on the surface.
- Do not forget to clean the surface regularly after certain required intervals.
- Cover the unused areas of the surfaces.
- Make sure you are replacing your laser parts with quality parts like trumpf laser parts, trumpf spare parts, hypertherm parts, etc. when required
There are numerous benefits of laser dust removal, like offering speed, automation, accuracy, and consistency. Without any of this, your final output would not come as desired. Thus, the cleaning process is important to make sure that the quality of your output is not hampered but enhanced. Additionally, cleaning laser parts with laser surfaces can help you to increase the longevity of the laser machine. It will directly affect how precise and clean the output would be. Thus, make sure you follow the given tips and clean your laser surfaces regularly.