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The Battle Against Rust is Over

A billion dollar problem with a seamless solution : LASER-SWIPE ©

Cleaning Revolution in the make

Non-contact laser cleaning brings about a lot of changes

It has been problematic over the years to environment and health especially in noise, dust and effluent that the sandblast or the chemical are utilized to remove the paint from the steel of the construct.
The newly developed removal method is to evaporate the surface material by irradiating non-contact laser toward the target, thus being able to propose optimized ways to surface processing works on cement, metal etc.


Industrial surface cleaning is probably the best known laser treatment application. Rust and paint removal, degreasing, activation, restoration, etc. are all considered as surface cleaning applications.


Industrial laser cleaning systems are most known for their rust removal capabilities. Application can be found in multiple industries as for example process & production or the heavy industry.  Our laser systems can be used to derust or deoxidize small machinery or materials which leave the warehouse rusted after being left there for several weeks or months.  Some of the main advantages of using laser cleaning as a rust removal method are the lack of chemicals that have to be used, the substrate is not damaged, very little pollution, etc.


A lot of customers use the laser's coating removal capabilities prior to any welding, brazing, bonding or new coating process. In the heavy industry for example, laser cleaning is used to prepare train bodywork for a new coating. Our systems are also capable of removing the paint layer by layer, if you don't want to remove everything all at once. The laser technique is a non-contact/non-abrasive process, no use of chemicals or blasting media are necessary , we see a reduction in waste, automation is easy and it's very safe. 


Degreasing is mostly applied in the process & production industry.  It can be initiated at the end of a process line as a final cleaning solution to remove any dirt, moist or other contaminants. In the end, you're left with a clean product, ready to be sold to the customer. Another application is the preparation of a product for a subsequent process: glueing, welding, coating, etc.


Often not the complete surface has to be cleaned, but only certain spots on that surface. Imagine you only have to remove rust on certain spots on a weld or that you only want to clean the rivets on the body of an airplane. That's where spot repair comes in and because of the 2D-scanners in the optic of our laser systems, circles can be created at once, which speeds up the complete process drastically.  Or you need a clean area to apply glue or insert a spot weld? A laser cleaner might be a very good solution for your problem!


In the restoration process, laser cleaning has been used with satisfying results in for example stone conservation to remove encrustation. Alongside the aesthetically pleasing results, it is relevant to determine that laser cleaning does not have any adverse effects.  Compared to the more traditional techniques, laser cleaning has many additional advantages. The dimension of the laser beam can be regulated so that areas of different dimensions can be treated. There is no physical contact between the object to be cleaned and the laser equipment. This aspect can be really relevant in treating fragile materials. 



Rust and oxide removal Laser cleaning


Laser rust removal, a type of laser cleaning, is an effective process for cleaning up metal parts. Using a fiber laser cleaning system, rust and other contaminants can be quickly and completely removed without damaging the metal underneath.  Laser rust removal is a great alternative to manual and chemical cleaning methods since rust is removed with greater precision and lower recurring costs. It’s also a great way to reduce your environmental impact. 

The removal of rust and oxide layers from metals is a laser cleaning application that is gaining very fast popularity due to the speed and flexibility that it offers. The process of removing rust from a metal appears to be the same as removing a painted layer, but there is a key difference. Rust and oxides are able to chemically corrode the bulk material, pitting and penetrating such that they are not just present on the surface. To fully remove high levels of rust, it is necessary to also engrave a thin layer of the substrate. The important takeaway is that the laser parameters needed to efficiently remove surface rust are not the same (in fact, practically opposite) as the parameters needed to best remove penetrating rust.

Rust removal by laser cleaning

Laser rust removal, a type of laser cleaning, is an effective process for cleaning up metal parts. Using a fiber laser cleaning system, rust and other contaminants can be quickly and completely removed without damaging the metal underneath.

Laser rust removal is a great alternative to manual and chemical cleaning methods since rust is removed with greater precision and lower recurring costs. It’s also a great way to reduce your environmental impact.

Get Rid of Consumables & Go Green

As a green technology, laser cleaning replaces methods that remove rust with consumables or chemicals. It’s the only solution that meets environmental protection regulations. Plus, pulsed fiber lasers have low power consumption. Laser cleaning does generate a small amount of dust in the air. It can be vacuumed instantly with a dust extraction system, which we provide and preconfigure for you if needed.

Eliminate Manual Labor

Spending a mass amount of manual labor to clean every single part is inefficient. It is expensive and can be performed more efficiently with robots. Eliminate manual labor through laser cleaning, a technology that can easily be fully or semi-automated. You can either choose a standard turnkey solution or partner us up with your system integrator for a solution customized for your plant.

Minimize Maintenance

Everyone who uses abrasive blasting faces the same problem: their machine is constantly interrupted. Whether it’s for the presence of sand, the nozzle’s condition or its replacement, blasting machines require regular monitoring and maintenance. Laser rust removal is a non-contact method that continuously removes rust while drastically lowering maintenance costs.

Create a Safe Workplace

Lasers in manufacturing environments are extremely safe when integrated with a dust extraction system and a Class-1 laser safety enclosure. With these things in place, operators who are near the laser system don’t need personal protective equipment for respiratory, hearing or body protection, only eye protection. In addition, they no longer handle dangerous materials. 


All materials have characteristics that define how they react under specific conditions. For rust removal on metals, you need to pay attention to the ablation threshold.  Laser parameters can be set so that the laser beam’s intensity is just above the ablation threshold of rust but below that of the metal being cleaned. If the laser beam is shone on the metal surface at an intensity below its ablation threshold, the energy of the laser beam is dispersed as heat once rust is removed.  The result is a clean surface with rust and dirt layers vaporized without permanently affecting the base material.

The speed at which rust is removed depends on rust thickness and laser power. Our high-power systems remove typical light rust at approximately 50 cm2/sec. The thickest forms of rust can be removed at 5 cm2/sec. The best way to find out the details for your application is to have us run tests on your parts.

Painted or anodised surfaces removal laser cleaning

The removal of painted or anodised surfaces has become the subject of substantial commercial interest in recent times and is ideally suited to laser cleaning

Empirical tests have shown that the quality and speed of cleaning can vary significantly depending on the thickness, chemical composition, colour, and surface finish of the coating and substrate. This emphasises the importance of optimising the laser output for the job at hand.

Weld Surface preparation by laser cleaning

Laser cleaning is also replacing traditional methods for weld preparation whereby protective galvanic layers are selectively removed from metals before they are joined.

Example: the removal of zinc oxide from mild steel in readiness for welding and subsequent re-galvanisation.

  • For this application, the longest, more-energetic nanosecond pulses were found to be beneficial for total oxide removal and best edge quality.
  • Process speeds of >100 mm2/s are achievable at 200 W average power. 

Weld Surface postprocessing by laser cleaning

What to Do After Welding

After the welding process is over and you’ve done everything right to prevent contaminating the welds, your job isn’t over.
You still need to clean the oxide byproducts generated during welding.
You may have done this before using a wire brush.
However, you can also remove these oxides using laser cleaning.

Laser surface cleaning is also being employed for postprocessing, providing both aesthetic and functional benefits.

Example: The cleaning of a stainless steel weld and a laser-engraved vehicle identification number (VIN), for a higher-quality finish and improved legibility. In the latter case, the same 200 W nanosecond fiber laser was used for the engraved mark and for the cleaning pass by re-optimisation of the laser parameters.

Laser texturing of surfaces with laser Lasermach Swipe-2 cleaning guncleaning

Another exciting area of surface functionalisation that is benefiting from the latest breed of superfast fiber lasers is laser texturing of stainless steel surfaces for improvements in distillation, petrochemistry, refrigeration, and nuclear power generation applications. In this process, it is possible to create microstructures that significantly increase the nucleate pool heat transfer coefficients, improving boiling efficiency not only for pure fluids, but also for binary mixtures.

New ultra fast switching (nano seconds) laser texturing techniques can also be applied to control the wettability of surfaces, to provide hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties. This is an important property for components used in aquatic media or other aggressive environments to prevent corrosion, and prolong lifetimes.  

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