Manufactures over 40,000 stainless steel barrels annually on its production line. Stainless Steel Flanges ( such as butt joints and lap joints ) must be cleaned to remove oxidation from stainless steel during the manufacturing process. For stainless steel weld cleaning to be corrosion-resistant, it must be passivated after laser cleaning stainless steel..
As part of their production line, laser cleaning stainless steel was implemented in 2018, replacing conventional cleaning methods. As soon as barrels come out of the machine, they are welded with oxide-free joints that are repeatable.
High-power continuous-wave laser (CWL) transmitters have been developed to effectively remove oxidation from stainless steel corrosion products from severely corroded steel structures. Dry laser cleaning (DLC) and wet laser cleaning (WLC) of the drench, soak, and rinse methods are employed to compare the clean-up effect with conventional blasting methods.
Three-dimensional scanning electron microscopy, laser scanning spectrometry, and scanning electron microscopy–energy dispersive X-ray spectrometry are used to analyze the morphologies and chemical compositions of untreated and treated surfaces. According to the results, laser surface cleaning technology can effectively remove corrosion products and salts that severely corrode steel members, as well as prolong the time before corrosion returns.
Through laser irradiation, WLC can achieve excellent microscopic cleaning and reduce the effect of high-temperature inputs on surfaces. Further mechanistic analysis indicates that ablation, melting, and evaporation during laser cleaning are primarily responsible for the removal of corrosion products and salts. Consequently, the WLC drench method yields the best surface cleanliness and is suitable for engineering applications. By using laser-cleaning techniques, severely corroded structures can be maintained.
WHY DID INOVAWELD CHOOSE LASER CLEANING?
Initially, stainless steel oxides were removed using conventional methods (chemical and mechanical cleaning). Based on their analysis of their production processes, they determined that cleaning was the bottleneck.
Their decision aimed at optimizing cleaning led them to identify several pain points associated with the process: dust production, noise levels, consumable costs and management, and a slow output.
Using an environmentally-friendly 3 kW CWL transmitter, corrosion products were directly removed from steel surfaces of real structures. A study was conducted to examine and analyze the morphologies and microstructures of multi surface laser-cleaning under different treatment conditions. Here are the main results, which can be used as steel removal rust and prevent corrosion in steel structures.
These are the pain points they addressed through ir laser cleaning.
Outputs and processes in production
Production line did not incorporate all cleaning steps required by conventional cleaning methods. Operators are unpredictable and prone to error, as is expected. Innovaweld wanted to produce a consistent product in less time. In order to accomplish this, manual operations would be replaced by automated ones.
They wanted more than just a solution that would require fewer workers. Additionally, they wanted a production solution that would improve their productivity. They were experiencing bottlenecks along their production line, especially when it came to chemical cleaning.
For surface treatment in actual engineering, the efficiency of processing, which is associated with the construction period and treatment cost, as well as noise and dust emissions during the treatment process, is crucial and influences the re-corrosion turning time of the treated surface. A rectangular area of the foot of rock-shed pillars was treated in this study. Each step of the treatment was recorded in terms of time. Based on the calculation of construction efficiency.
By reducing workers, providing instant results, and requiring little maintenance, laser cleaning stainless steel provides a high return on investment.
Workplace safety and employee health
In the areas where laser cleaning has been implemented, the following work conditions have been improved:
- Chemicals no longer need to be handled by employees
- Protective equipment needs have decreased
- Reduction of dust production has been achieved
- Reduction of noise levels has been achieved
Health and safety improvements have also contributed to employees’ happiness. Cleaners didn’t enjoy performing manual operations related to cleaning: handling chemicals, performing repetitive maintenance tasks, and wearing protective equipment in enclosed spaces. Automated operations have now replaced these tasks, allowing employees to focus on more important, motivating tasks.
Maintenance and consumables
When consumables were used up, or dust from mechanical cleaning damaged machines, the company often had to replace them. Company has reduced maintenance caused by mechanical components by integrating laser cleaning. Due to the lack of mechanical components, their laser cleaning solution requires little maintenance.
By using laser-cleaning techniques, severely corroded structures can be maintained.
Further mechanistic analysis indicates that ablation, melting, and evaporation during laser cleaning are primarily responsible for the removal of corrosion products and salts.
Continuous-wave laser transmitters have been developed to remove oxidation from stainless steel corrosion products from severely corroded steel structures.
Cleaning with lasers removes welding scale and corrosion, as well as staining from stainless steel, metal black, and non-ferrous lubricants, providing high quality, smooth, and void-free clean soldering and brazing, with visible solder for superior stability.
In the automotive sector, precision tool manufacturing, and shipbuilding industries, laser cleaning is also used to pre-treat welding surfaces.