The Singapore academic and research institute has developed a method, using fibre laser technology, to remove material from surfaces for coating preparation.
Methods like abrasive blasting has been established as the industry standard for cleaning raw materials used to build new ships, as well as for removing contaminants and paint for ship repair. However, this can be an environmental hazard and pose serious health concerns due to the presence of toxic dust and high noise levels produced by abrasive blasting. It also involves high maintenance costs.
In addition, new workplace environmental and health policies require more green approaches to cleaning for environmental protection and health hazard reduction.
This technology includes fibre laser technology that provides the advantages of a compact system, automation capability, and low maintenance and operation cost. The cleaning results also meet the requirements described in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard 8501.
This technology involves pulsed coherent light that is directed and focused from about 22 cm from the surface, onto an area of the surface according to the selected parameters. The top layer of the material – such as oxide, coating or contamination – can be quickly ablated from the surface. Selective cleaning can be achieved through the accurate and precise control of laser beam movement.
The method may comprise selecting parameters which include the following:
• Wavelength: 1055 nm to 1075 nm
• Line density: 50 to 75%
• Line width of the pulsed coherent light and frequency: 16 to 100 KHz
• Power: 400 to 2000 Watts
• Peak power density: 0.3 to100 MW/cm2
• Scanning speed: 10 to15 m/s
• Pulse energy: 20 to 200 mJ
This technology is applicable in the following industries:
Marine & offshore
• Spot cleaning for recoating work
• Cleaning in confined spaces
• Precisely and selectively de-painting for repair work
• Fully de-paint and de-rust
• Surface roughening
• Coating removal
• Glue removal
• Surface patterning to enhance bonding
• Surface cleaning
• Surface profiling
• Metal recycling
• Building conservation
• Conservation of artworks
The Singapore academic and research institute is interested in working with partners (MNEs or SMEs of all sizes) to either license the technology or be a commercial partner with technical assistance rendered by the Singapore institute.