Surfaces made up of an iron compound are prone to rust- caused by a chemical reaction whereby a compound consisting of iron is exposed to oxygen and moisture over a prolonged period. Given that oxygen is virtually everywhere, dealing with rusty surfaces is inevitable. These stubborn reddish-brown stains are not only a corrosive scar to your stone and metallic surfaces, but also an eyesore. They can appear on the surface of your car, garden furniture, bike, boat, precision machinery, or unkept iron sheets in your shed.
There are different approaches to rust removal. Some common home remedies involve scrubbing the surface with vinegar or baking soda and a hard brush. Unfortunately, such methods only offer a temporary solution to rusting. Electrolysis is a better approach to the problem, but that will require a car battery charger, baking soda, a basin of water, and a sacrificial metal composed of iron. I bet you are already rolling your eyes at the list of components needed for this. Fortunately, there’s a simpler, and more thorough approach to rust removal; laser cleaning.
Laser Cleaning and Its History
Laser cleaning, also known as laser ablation, uses a laser beam to remove impurities and contaminants from the surface of a material through irradiation. Such impurities may include unwanted insulation, paint, rubber coating, and rust. This process dates back to 1995 when it was first successfully used to ablate a block of pure graphite.
Fast forward to the present day, and laser cleaning is the number one industrial approach to rust removal on any surface.
It is widely used in metal material cleaning as well as coated cleaning on surfaces such as stainless steel, carbon steel and coated products. With a laser cleaning machine, you can ablate any rusted surface in your home.
How It Works
Laser cleaning uses a machine that aims a laser pulse at high power onto the rusty surface of a material. The laser energy is absorbed by the organic material lying on the surface of the substrate while the non-organic substrate remains untouched.
The laser beam is passed over the surface until the preferred depth and area have been completely rid of the rust. At low flux, the laser energy from the beam ablates the surface while vaporizing the rust. At high flux, the laser energy converts the rust or other unwanted material to plasma. Both low and high flux get the job done, but their use depends on the type of surface in question.
There are two distinct laser cleaning processes; coating removal and surface decontamination. The former is characterized by removing a layer of unwanted material from the surface of a substrate. It is most effective when the physical and chemical composition of the layer differs from the substrate. Such include insulation, primers, corrosion preventive coatings, rubber or paint. Normally, the low flux laser beam is used for this. The latter involves removing the entire upper layer of the substrate and requires high flux laser beams.
The Advantage of Laser Cleaning
- It’s a non-contact, non-abrasive process. Home remedies are messy and unhealthy. Scrubbing off rusted surfaces exposes you to impurities which could lead to respiratory complications. Laser cleaning, on the other hand, relies on the laser beam to ablate the surface. There is no physical contact between you and the rust.
- No use of chemicals. Rust remover chemicals can get the job done, but the health implications on their use outweigh their benefit. Such chemicals are not only harsh and abrasive but also emit intense fumes. You will need to wear protective gear such as a respirator, goggles and rubber gloves before using them. However, laser cleaning does not rely on any chemical application. It is the better choice as it does not put your health at risk.
- No secondary waste is produced. Scrubbing off rust from surfaces only disintegrates the rusty particles from the substrate, leaving you with a toxic lump of rust dust at the end of the process. Electrolysis leaves the rust particles floating in the water, which you later have to dispose of. In comparison, laser cleaning is a cleaner process as the rust particles are either vaporized or turned into plasma, leaving no evidence of waste.
- High precision. The focused laser beams have an extremely precise focal edge, allowing you to ablate rust from tough spots that would otherwise be harder to clean with other apparatus. Such include the rust that develops around bolts and rails. Additionally, the high precision allows you to focus the laser beam repeatedly over a specific area to achieve the required depth and result.
- It’s effective on all surfaces. Unlike other rust removal procedures, laser cleaning works on all surfaces that are prone to rusting, including stones, concrete, iron, aluminum (bauxite) or copper.
- It does not degrade the substrate. Scrubbing rusted surfaces significantly degrades the substrate due to friction. Rust removing chemicals, on the other hand, are harsh and corrosive, causing wear and tear that could spoil delicate metals or even weaken their robustness. Laser cleaning in comparison ablates the surface while leaving the substrate untouched.
- It is a long-term solution. A laser cleaning machine will serve you longer than any scrubber or rust removing chemical will. The laser does not suffer any wear or tear, and thus can be used and reused over its lifetime.
Now that you know what you get by going the laser cleaning way, you’ll want to buy a good machine that does the job right. The market will spoil you for choice with laser cleaning machines from different manufacturers, offering different capabilities, prices, and extra features. However, no machine gets the job done as efficiently, and gives you value for money as much as the DIHORSE 50W hand-held laser cleaning machine.
The DIHORSE 50W Hand-Held Laser Cleaning Machine
With such a wide range of industrial use, let’s look at the features that make the Raycus 50W such a powerful rust remover.
The DIHORSE 50W Hand-held Laser Cleaning Machine Features
This handheld laser cleaning machine comes with a power rating of 50W, 100W or 200W. The 50W auto laser cleaning variant is fully capable of removing tough rust stains from most surfaces. It requires a single-phase 220V±10%, 50/60 Hz AC power supply, which is readily available from most power outlets in homes and industries. Its power consumption clocks at 800W, which is fairer than most other laser cleaning machines that the market has to offer. Ideally, the DIHORSE 50W hand-held laser cleaning machine will be friendly to your pocket as far as energy bills go.
This specific auto laser cleaning machine is designed to be used by hand. It comes with a cleaning head that you move around with your hand to target the laser beam towards specific areas of the substrate. There exist other industrial models which are operated by robots, mostly found in assembly plants.
The Raycus 50W comes with a fiber length of 5 meters. As far as health concerns go, the standard fiber length is ideal as it puts a distance of 5 meters between you and the laser beam. Should you need a longer fiber length, DIHORSE can easily customize this for you to 10 meters.
The DIHORSE 50W laser cleaning machine uses the Raycus Fiber Laser to ablate rust and impurities from surfaces.
Cleaning head weight
The cleaning head refers to the tip of the fiber length; where the laser pulse shoots out from. Weighing at 4.4 pounds, the DIHORSE 50W laser cleaning machine is light enough to be handheld for prolonged periods.
The laser beam has an adjustable scanning width, ranging between 10mm and 80mm. You are at liberty to adjust this width to your preference, depending on the surface material in question.
Focus spot diameter
The laser beam from the DIHORSE 50W laser cleaning machine comes with a focus spot diameter of 0.08mm, which allows you to focus the pulse to the very hard-to-reach spots.
Power adjustment range
A good laser cleaning machine will allow you to adjust the power range depending on how tough a stain is to remove. The Raycus 50W offers precisely that, with a power adjustment range of 10% to 100%.
Some rust stains are tougher to remove than others. For such, you will need to pass the laser beam repeatedly over the affected area until the required ablation depth is achieved. Dihorse designed the Raycus 50W with an adjustable repeat frequency of 20-200KHZ. The higher the repeat frequency, the lesser the number of times you’ll have to pass the laser beam over a rust stain.
Lasers are capable of emitting high energy levels; some high enough to cut through metal. The DIHORSE 50W hand-held laser cleaning machine comes with a laser pulse intensity of 0.1 Watt/m2, which is just strong enough to ablate the surface without damaging the substrate.
Laser module life
The Dihorse-designed laser cleaner guarantees up to 100,000 hours of laser ablation. This translates to up to 11 years of service!
The auto laser cleaning machine is designed with powerful air coolers, which keep it from overheating after prolonged use.
The Raycus 50W is almost cubical in shape, with dimensions measuring 33*27*34 inch. It is compact enough to fit in your garage or storage area without consuming much space.
The DIHORSE 50W hand-held laser cleaning machine weighs about 264 pounds. It comes fitted with rolling wheels so you can move it around with ease.
Unboxing the Raycus 50W laser cleaning machine reveals one unit of the cleaning machine, one hand-held manipulator with an in-built optical system and one tool kit.
Dihorse offers a 2 year guarantee for the whole machine and a 1-year warranty for the fiber glass generator. This also comes with free replacements within the warranty period, with a non-human factor clause.
- Work environment. The laser cleaning machine needs to be placed on a flat surface for the best results. Also, due to the high precision of laser beams, it is designed to work without causing vibration. It is also ideal to use it in an environment with minimal vibration.
- Support. Should you have any queries you wish to address, Dihorse promises full after-sale and technical support via phone, email or chat.
DIHORSE 50W Hand-Held Laser Cleaning Machine FAQ
What is the shape of the laser output?
The laser output is shaped in sine waves.
Can the DIHORSE 50W clean flaky rust that has been there for years?
The DIHORSE 50W cleans all types of rust no matter how old, tough or thick it is.
Is this machine suitable for cleaning engine blocks?
The machine is professionally designed to clean metal material as well as coated material such as carbon products. It is important to know the thickness of the rust to apply the right power range and repeat frequency.
Can I use this machine to clean my coin collection?
Yes! You absolutely can, so long as it is a metal coin.
Can the Raycus 50W clean darkened copper?
It absolutely can. The machine is capable of cleaning any metal, including carbon steel, stainless steel and coated steel.
How long is the cable from the machine to the laser?
The standard length is 5m. It can be lengthened to 10m if you wish.
Will the DIHORSE 50W sear a steak?
The auto laser cleaning machine cleans the resin of the subject surface, as well as oil stains, rust, paints, coatings, and dirt.
Can I remove barnacles and other impurities from the hull of my boat?
The machine will remove all rusts and impurities off any metallic surface.
Can I use the 50W laser cleaner to remove buildup from aluminum tooling used for runner injection molding?
You absolutely can! The 50W is powerful enough to remove all buildup from your aluminum tooling.
How do I know the best power range to use?
The DIHORSE 50W hand-held laser cleaning machine can ablate rusts at any power range. We recommend a high power level for thick rust coatings.
Final Impressions and Alternatives
- High precision
- Adjustable power range
- 2-year warranty on the entire machine
How the Raycus 50W Compares to the Competition
The DIHORSE 50W hand-held laser cleaning machine offers a better deal than other industry counterparts, such as the Reaying 50W Metal & Non-Metal Surface Cleaner Machine.
The 200W Fiber laser cleaning machine as well as the DIHORSE DH-CL200 Laser cleaning machine both retail at a high price. They are a different class from the Raycus 50W as they are designed for intense industrial use. Besides, the Raycus 50W is ideal if you want a laser remover for home use.
- High precision.
- Adjustable power range.
- Flexible repeat frequency.
- Adjustable scanning width.
- Cleaning head with optical focus.
- Long lifecycle of 100,000 hours.
- Long fiber length of 5m, customizable to 10m.
- No need for chemicals.
- Compact cubical design for easy storage.
- 2-year warranty on the entire machine.
- Lack of remote controlling.
- 1-year warranty on fiber glass generator.
The build quality of the DIHORSE 50W hand-held laser cleaning machine is robust enough to handle prolonged use. While its 50W power voltage is suitable for domestic use, it is still ideal for industrial applications in car assembly firms among others. The machine is easily available on e-commerce sites such as Amazon, with express free shipping to your door using FedEx, DHL or TNT.
Dihorse gives you a deal of a lifetime with the Raycus 50W. For more information on the product, feel free to visit Dihorse Laser Cleaning. Also, should you wish to see the machine in action, click on the DIHORSE operation video or the DIHORSE rust removal video