Coating removal can be difficult, time consuming, messy and result in mix waste that is expensive and bad for our environment.
Conventional methods consist of:
Wire brushes – Very time consuming – Surface damaging – Labor intensive, and lead to foreign material entering your systems and taxing your foreign material exclusion (FME) programs.
Pressure Washing – It uses a narrow, high-pressure jet of hot or cold water to blast dirt free. Because the water is traveling fast, it hits the dirty surface with high kinetic energy, knocking dirt and dust away like a constant rain of tiny hammer blows. It’s only water, though, so it doesn’t damage most hard surfaces. You are however, left with a mixture of water and its contaminants. If the water is not contained, it makes its way to our environment.
Sand Blasting – Also known as abrasive blasting – is the operation of forcibly propelling a stream of abrasive material against a surface under high pressure. If not done correctly can damage a surface. Creates waste from the abrasive material that can only be used once. In the industrial setting this causes mixed waste and is more expensive to dispose of and adds additional time and labor to a job for cleaning. The area also be taped off and clean thoroughly to prevent and FME into a system.
Laser Abatement – Cleaning with light. A pulse of light transfers energy to the surface of an object. This transfer of energy causes a shock wave that breaks the bonds of a coating with the surface material. The plasma of the laser instantaneously superheats the dislodged material causing 60 to 90% of the material to turn into a vapor. All the vapor and remaining particulates are contained via a vacuum system. Greatly reducing waste and eliminating FME.
A 1000 sqft cleaning job using sandblasting generates approximately 40 pounds of mixed waste. The same job using a laser, 14 Ounces.
The laser does not damage the surface of the underlying material. This is accomplished by understanding the photoelectric effect which states if a metal plate is irradiated with light an electron is ejected. The incongruity is that the lights ability to eject an electron, is solely dependent of its frequency and not its intensity. If the beam is below a certain frequency, even a very intense beam, it cannot eject an electron. Whereas the faintest beam possible above a certain frequency can eject and electron and damage a surface.