Aerospace is one of the most regulated industries in the world. As a result maintenance is performed frequently and all aspects of airplanes need to be inspected thoroughly. Laser cleaning is a fantastic solution for decorating parts and entire planes! Given that laser cleaning is a non abrasive and non contact process, structural integrity is not compromised. The surface will most likely retain its original profile and be ready for paint after inspection. Laser cleaning systems can also be used to degrease a surface, remove oxidation and rust, remove carbon deposits from turbines, and generally clean any metallic component.
Laser cleaning systems are highly efficient at removing impurities on a material, but the process is not restorative and cannot repair defects that are close to the substrate surface. However, the removal of bulk surface material allows for the inspection of the components after cleaning. This is particularly important for component-critical industries, such as aerospace, where small defects can have catastrophic implications.
As there is no need for a secondary process to remove cleaning media, the inspection can occur either during the cleaning process or immediately after the cleaning process.
Lasers are used in the aerospace industry to remove paint coatings or impurities. The process to remove impurities is a challenging task, and lasers have minimal impact on substrates and leave no residue behind. For the cleaning process, both handled and standalone lasers are used for a wide range of commercial and non-commercial aircraft.
It is common knowledge that aircraft are frequently paint-stripped for inspection, maintenance, and non-destructive evaluation work. Moreover, military aircraft are paint-stripped and repainted for survivability (visual appearance, infrared signature), corrosion protection, appearance and durability. Aircraft maintainers have traditionally used hazardous chemicals and waste-generating processes to perform surface cleaning and coating removal. Currently, removing coatings requires not only the use of hazardous materials; it also generates large amounts of hazardous waste and poses a significant occupational health risk for workers.
Due to increasing restrictions and safety concerns regarding these processes, the time is rapidly running out on the use of these conventional methods and environmentally acceptable alternative methods and approaches are urgently being investigated.
Here is laser cleaning a perfect acceptable and ecological solution which is adapted already worldwide in the aviation maintenance business.
Stripping paint and other coatings from full-body aircraft is required multiple times over the course of an aircraft's lifespan. Traditionally, coating removal processes are costly, time-consuming, and potentially hazardous to workers and to the environment. That job has now been made more efficient with our LASERSWIPE laser cleaning machines.
The benefits of reducing waste and hazardous materials should also be highlighted when using Lasers for stripping paint: reducing waste and finding an alternative to chemical and abrasive paint stripping is “smart business”. The following list highlights the benefits and cost advantage of cutting waste and switching to the laser method:
- Improved working environment
- Reduced regulatory compliance
- Savings on disposal costs
The list of negatives concerning chemical depainting is long, including:
- The requirement to mask sensitive areas of the fuselage prior to chemical application;
- The requirement for personal protective equipment to handle the chemicals;
- Large water usage to rinse chemicals from aircraft;
- Large multiplication of hazardous waste volume;
- Release of carcinogenic hexavalent chrome primer into the waste stream;
- Personnel exposure to hazardous chemicals;
- The inability to use on aircraft wings because of chemical ingress;
- The requirement to de-mask prior to painting; and
- The cost of hazardous waste disposal.
Additionally, the requirement that manual sanding be performed on sensitive wing areas brings with it another set of problems, including high frequency of operator repetitive injuries, operator exposure to hexavalent chrome, the potential for damage to aircraft wing surfaces, and the lack of qualified operators.
It is no surprise that alternatives to these depainting methods have been sought for many years. Now, laser paint stripping is finally emerging as a credible solution to replace the hazardous, environmentally unfriendly, chemical, and mechanical paint stripping methods that dominate aircraft depainting today. And, surprisingly, the boldest new initiative in laser paint stripping is being spearheaded by private industry.
Lasermach LASERSWIPE portable systems designed to remove paint from metal structures, such as ships, bridges, airplanes, helicopters, rockets, torpedos, power transmission towers, and large equipment. The laser process can be used to remove weather top coats finishes, enabling fresh new coatings to be applied over suitable base coat layers. A laser de-painted steel surface is completely clean and ideal for repainting.
Lasermach offers high-performance high power laser units developed especially for large-area applications. Robust and reliable portable lasers… designed to go where the work is…in the plant, in the field or at sea.
- Fast setup, simple to operate
- Uses no media, no dust, no chemicals, no clean-up
- Removes coatings, oxides, oils & more all in on-step
- Versatile handheld & ergonomically designed laser optics
- Easy to automate, robotic optics available
- Beam delivery by flexible fiber optic cable up to 30m long
- Space-saving compact systems go nearly anywhere
- Environmentally friendly – no seconday waste
- Low operating cost
- Minimal maintenance
Around the world, the pavement of airport runways is mostly made of concrete. In the process of takeoff and landing, rubber particles will fall off after friction between tires and runway road surface, thus attaching rubber marks on the runway road surface of the airport. The accumulated runway glue marks will seriously reduce the skid resistance of the road surface and affect the take-off and landing safety of the aircraft. Therefore, the airport runway needs to be cleaned regularly to remove the rubber marks on the runway.
Traditional cleaning processes will cause irreversible damage to the runway. For this reason, a green and non-destructive cleaning process is urgently needed to effectively remove the rubber marks on the airport runway, ensure the anti-skid property of the runway, and ensure the safe take-off and landing of the aircraft. Our Swipe2Clean laser cleaning machines for runway cleaning use a green and non-destructive cleaning process and is professionally customized for airport runway degumming. It can not only effectively remove the tire rubber layer on the runway, but also will not cause any damage to the airport runway. It is energy-saving and environmentally friendly. It is the first choice for cleaning the runway. equipment. The runway friction value after de-glue has been tested to fully meet the specified standards, which improves the quality of the runway surface and ensures the normal take-off and landing of flights.
The cleaning process of high-power pulsed laser depends on the characteristics of the optical pulse generated by the fiber laser, and is based on the optical physical reaction formed by the interaction between the high-intensity beam, the short-pulse laser and the pollution layer. The physics can be summarized as follows: the beam emitted by the laser is absorbed by a layer of contamination on the surface to be treated. The absorption of large amounts of energy forms a rapidly expanding plasma (highly ionized, unstable gas), creating a shock wave that breaks the pollutants into fragments and removes them. The width of the light pulse must be short enough to avoid the build-up of heat that would damage the surface being treated, where the plasma is generated when there is an oxide on the metal surface. When the technological parameters are appropriate, the pulsed laser can completely clean the rubber of airport runway without damaging the surface of substrate. High power pulse fiber laser, with high average power, high monopulse energy, uniform distribution of spot energy, universal control interface, strong compatibility, adjustable working frequency, high degree of homogenization of light beam, can fully meet the application of cleaning airport runway rubber cleaning.
For an airport, runways are a key facility for its operations. During high-speed landing, aircraft tires are exposed to high temperatures due to frictional contact with the runway surface. This high temperature causes the rubber rubber formed by the tire’s rubber to melt instantly and adhere to the texture of the road surface. As the number of friction increases and the time passes, the road surface is caused. The thickening of the rubber layer causes the friction coefficient of the road surface to decrease, which affects the braking performance of the aircraft, especially when the road surface is wet, the viscosity of the rubber on the runway significantly reduces the friction and directly affects the safe landing of the aircraft. Therefore, major airports must clean the runway irregularly every year, and ensure that the surface friction coefficient of the road surface is not less than 0.5, so as to avoid accidents.
Runway and taxiway excursion accidents are the most frequent type of air accident worldwide, often resulting in loss of life and injuries for passengers and crew along with severe disruption and reputational damage for airports. Airports can significantly reduce the likelihood of such accidents by taking their obligations seriously to test and maintain runway friction and visibility of line markings.
LASER-SWIPE is the world’s most accurate and controlled runway rubber removal and paint removal system for airports. Whether a small regional airport or a major hub, we have solutions that save you money and keep you compliant.
At present, the commonly used degumming equipment in the industry includes ground milling machines and mobile shot blasting machines.
- Degumming of the ground milling machine will cause damage to the surface of the runway;
- High pressure waterjet brushing will cause damage to the surface and soes not clean all rubber away. Huge losses of water.
- The shot blasting machine may remove steel shots on the runway. If it is not cleaned in time, it will cause damage to the aircraft and increase the workload of the workers.
In the actual cleaning of the runway, different energy and moving speed should be adopted according to the actual thickness of the “rubber black”, so as to achieve better cleaning efficiency and effect.
The laser hand-held cleaning machine is professionally customized for airport runway degumming. It can not only effectively remove the tire rubber layer on the aircraft runway, but also not cause any damage to the airport runway. It is both energy-saving and environmentally friendly. It is the first choice for cleaning aircraft runways. device. After degumming, the runway friction resistance value has fully reached the required standard after testing, improving the quality of the runway surface and ensuring the normal takeoff and landing of the flight.