How Does Laser Cleaning Metal Work ?

What is Laser Cleaning?

Laser cleaning systems like the laser rust remover work by focusing a powerful laser on an area that the operator intends to clean. The technology can effectively clean substances like corrosion, residue, rust and paint from various materials without damaging the underlying surface.

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The energy put out during laser cleaning allows for contaminants to be accurately and quickly removed from substrates while keeping the operator safe from harmful chemicals and substances.

Due to this technology’s ability to precisely clean items, industry professionals are able to achieve the results they need.

Laser cleaning technology works by sending nanosecond-length pulses of laser light towards a surface. When it interacts with contaminants that absorb laser light, the contaminants or coating particles will either turn into a gas or the pressure of the interaction will cause particles to free from the surface. With the right laser settings and equipment, laser cleaning is unmatched in its ability to clean all the way to the bare metal of your product.

IGOLDEN Laser specializes in the know-how and application of laser cleaning solutions to put together the formula for your specific situation. Once we identify the combination of settings and equipment, the process can be matched across other setups – working very efficiently without affecting the integrity of the surface you are cleaning. In addition to its cleaning capabilities, laser technology has added benefits: It is easy to operate, safe, easily automated, quiet, and reliable. It doesn’t require cleanup, comes with low operating costs, it’s low maintenance, and environmentally friendly.

How Does Laser Cleaning Metal Work ?

Laser cleaning metal works through a process called laser ablation, which involves the use of a high-intensity laser beam to remove contaminants, such as rust, paint, grease, oxide layers, or other unwanted substances, from the surface of a metal substrate.

  1. Absorption of Laser Energy: When a laser beam is directed onto the surface of the metal, it interacts with the material. The laser energy is absorbed by the contaminants present on the surface.
  2. Localized Heating: The absorbed laser energy rapidly heats up the contaminants, causing them to reach their vaporization or sublimation temperature. This localized heating process occurs very quickly and is confined to the surface layer of the material.
  3. Vaporization or Ablation: Once the contaminants reach their vaporization or sublimation temperature, they are converted directly from solid to gas phase (sublimation) or undergo rapid vaporization. This process results in the contaminants being expelled or “ablated” from the surface of the metal.
  4. Selective Absorption: The laser energy is selectively absorbed by the contaminants due to differences in their optical properties compared to the metal substrate. This selective absorption ensures that the laser only affects the unwanted materials on the surface, leaving the metal substrate unharmed.
  5. Non-contact Process: Laser cleaning is a non-contact process, meaning that there is no physical contact between the cleaning equipment and the metal surface. This eliminates the risk of damage or distortion to the underlying metal, making it suitable for cleaning delicate or sensitive components.
  6. Cleaning Efficiency: Laser cleaning is highly efficient and precise, capable of removing even stubborn contaminants from metal surfaces with minimal effort. It can achieve high levels of cleanliness and surface quality, often surpassing traditional cleaning methods in terms of speed and effectiveness.
  7. Environmental Friendliness: Laser cleaning is an environmentally friendly cleaning method as it does not involve the use of chemical solvents or abrasive materials that may produce hazardous waste or emissions. It is a clean and sustainable process that minimizes environmental impact.
  8. Safety Precautions: Safety precautions are essential when performing laser cleaning operations due to the intense light and heat generated by the laser beam. Proper safety measures, such as using laser safety goggles, controlling access to the cleaning area, and implementing interlock systems, should be in place to ensure the safety of operators and bystanders.

Laser Cleaning

How Does Laser Rust Removal Work?

Laser rust removal is a laser cleaning process that utilizes laser ablation. Laser ablation is achieved by using a laser cleaner with a high peak power and short pulse frequencies; this could be a fiber laser or a hybrid laser. The laser beam is focused onto the rust and heats it to the evaporation point. Once the rust converts into gas, it evaporates and leaves behind a clean finish that conquers the problems rust once gave the part.

Although rust is almost impossible to prevent completely, even with additives like rust-preventing paint, there is a solution to removing it. Although you can attack the issue with chemical rust removers or extensive manual labor tasks (like sanding, shot blasting, and grinding), a laser cleaner is the most efficient and effective way to remove rust from the surface of a material.

Benefits of Laser Cleaning

Operator Safety

Laser cleaning eliminates the need for hazardous consumables that harm the health of operator Precision Laser cleaning is precise and accurate, allowing for the effective treatment of targeted surfaces.


The technology can be automated, further enhancing efficiency while reducing the need for manual labor


Laser cleaning technology can be tailored to fit the unique needs of operators regardless of the industry or application.


The process is non-contact, preventing physical damage to worked-on material. No Secondary Waste Laser cleaning produces minimal waste and no pollution, making it environmentally friendly.

Laser cleaning is an operator-safe and healthy method of industrial cleaning that eliminates the risk of silicosis that traditional methods like sandblasting can cause. We provide laser cleaning systems that are designated by the Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) as Class 4 lasers. Several of our cutting-edge products meet the full requirements for a stand-alone laser system as defined by 21 CFR 1040.10 under the Radiation Control for Health and Safety Act of 1968.

Our systems of laser rust removers have an added level of security when compared to others on the market, as they are equipped with multiple state-of-the-art safety features. These products are equipped with a manual reset, a key-locked laser power switch, and a remote interlock connector, which all serve to prevent accidental exposure to laser radiation. Other features include an exhaust outlet for fume extraction and a Class 4 operator safe viewing port for safe observation of the laser cleaning process and easier alignment.

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