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Laser rust removal

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Hi I saw a YouTube video on a laser gun that removes rust, anyways I have done some research on pullsed lasers and I was curious what is the possibility of building such a laser to remove rust for automotive rust removal for restoring old cars? I know that the process is called ablation and was curious as to what type on danger is present and why is the technology cost almost $500,000?
 

CurtisOliver

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This application doesn't necessarily require an expensive pulsed laser to do the job. I've performed rust removal using both a basic college 50W and an 80W CO2 laser engraving machine. But this is just using a convex lens to create a small high energy point and moving backwards and forwards. The cost factor comes down to how effectively the job can be carried out and how expensive the technology is to allow it. Laser rust removal devices use a cylindrical lens to create a tightly focused line. This eliminates the need for scanning and quickens the ability to affect a larger area. If using a cylidrical lens, you are better off with a fibre laser due to the shorter wavelength (higher beam intensity than CO2) which is more costly. To go one step further would be to use a pulsed laser as this would deliver the energy needed without needing too much average power. But with all these additional advances, it stacks up as cost. But undoubtedly what you are mostly paying for is the r&d and profits desired by the manufacturer. $500,000 is excessive IMO. I've seen backpack solutions before that cost far less.

As for safety, you are using a Class IV at the IR part of the spectrum. Obviously there is a major safety aspect to consider. IIRC, I've seen systems that deliberately use a wavelength that doesn't harm the user if their hand gets exposed to the beam. But eye safety is paramount to the user and those around the device.
 

steve001

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This application doesn't necessarily require an expensive pulsed laser to do the job. I've performed rust removal using both a basic college 50W and an 80W CO2 laser engraving machine. But this is just using a convex lens to create a small high energy point and moving backwards and forwards. The cost factor comes down to how effectively the job can be carried out and how expensive the technology is to allow it. Laser rust removal devices use a cylindrical lens to create a tightly focused line. This eliminates the need for scanning and quickens the ability to affect a larger area. If using a cylidrical lens, you are better off with a fibre laser due to the shorter wavelength (higher beam intensity than CO2) which is more costly. To go one step further would be to use a pulsed laser as this would deliver the energy needed without needing too much average power. But with all these additional advances, it stacks up as cost. But undoubtedly what you are mostly paying for is the r&d and profits desired by the manufacturer. $500,000 is excessive IMO. I've seen backpack solutions before that cost far less.

As for safety, you are using a Class IV at the IR part of the spectrum. Obviously there is a major safety aspect to consider. IIRC, I've seen systems that deliberately use a wavelength that doesn't harm the user if their hand gets exposed to the beam. But eye safety is paramount to the user and those around the device.
I believe the beam scans.
 

steve001

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Hi I saw a YouTube video on a laser gun that removes rust, anyways I have done some research on pullsed lasers and I was curious what is the possibility of building such a laser to remove rust for automotive rust removal for restoring old cars? I know that the process is called ablation and was curious as to what type on danger is present and why is the technology cost almost $500,000?
There are smaller units using a 20W co2 lasers, but they are expensive too, about $80K. The CO2 laser isn't the expensive part, it's the infrastructure that you'll sometimes see in the various vids that makes it work. As you can see in this vid the beams scan over the various surfaces. Making reliably long life moving parts is expensive plus the stuff Curtis wrote.
 

diachi

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As for safety, you are using a Class IV at the IR part of the spectrum. Obviously there is a major safety aspect to consider. IIRC, I've seen systems that deliberately use a wavelength that doesn't harm the user if their hand gets exposed to the beam. But eye safety is paramount to the user and those around the device.
Class IV alone understates the danger of these rust removal lasers (Time for a Class V? :p). They're typically Q-switch YAG/Fiber lasers at 10s to 100s of watts average output power with peak powers well into the 100s or 1,000s of kW. Designing and building something like that, and doing it well, is not cheap.
 

Immo1282

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I suppose the higher classifications are all "useless" with regards to eye safety - but it would probably be good to have some difference between "this laser will blind you very quickly" and "this laser will blow a hole in your hand/face/wall" :p
 
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Appreciate the info, information on lasers with high power is kinda hard to find. I have a lot of stuff that can use laser rust removal. I have a cnc mill, lathe, welders, you name it and I see rusty stuff coming in all the time. On the video you sent what type of lense makes it so wide?
 
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So what power level will effectively remove rust well? Is there a formula to figure out what power I will need?
 

Immo1282

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Appreciate the info, information on lasers with high power is kinda hard to find. I have a lot of stuff that can use laser rust removal. I have a cnc mill, lathe, welders, you name it and I see rusty stuff coming in all the time. On the video you sent what type of lense makes it so wide?
A cylindrical lens will take a spot and turn it into a line - as it's only got a curve in one axis instead of two, and a cylindrical pair can be used to create a collimated line instead of a fan shape (I think that's right, feel free to correct me ofc if not)
 

Encap

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Here is a 100W for $45,000 and 200W for $85,000 - https://www.amazon.com/DIHORSE-Hand-Held-Cleaning-Machine-Removal/dp/B07B48V7CR also see: https://shortshift.co/laser-rust-removal/

Very dangerous and not anywhere as simple or effective as you imagine it to be.

You are not going to build anything that is more than a dangerous toy.--an accident looking for a place to happen.
FDA approvals required notwithstanding.

Even the lowest cost Chinese units are $10,000 to $50,000 -- see: https://www.alibaba.com/showroom/laser-rust-removal.html
 
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