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In creating the most powerful laser cleaning solutions in the world, Powerlase has made it their business to understand the fundamentals of rust formation. Our team of physicians and engineers are well versed in how corrosion interacts with hundreds of surfaces. At Powerlase we understand how time-consuming rust removal is, this is why we take pride in being at the forefront of laser development and have manufactured a suite of cleaning solutions to save you time and money while helping you achieve the best results for your rust cleaning needs.

To help you understand this Powerlase have categorised rust into three easy to identify levels. Understanding these levels will help you to easily notice rust formation and know how well our laser rust removal systems are optimised to clean all types of rust.

Why differentiate rust into three levels?

Powerlase started its research and development in rust removal when laser cleaning development was in its infancy. This has allowed Powerlase to be ahead of the curve, we have invested many years into developing the best laser cleaning systems the marketplace has to offer.

So why define rust into three levels? The need to categorise rust formation into three levels has come from years of research and development into how a high power laser interacts with rust. Essentially it is laser interaction plus a specification level that defines each of the following levels of rust.

As we delve into each level of rust removal, we will further understand the unique processes Powerlase have mastered to create the perfect laser system for rust removal.

Level 1 Rust removal explained

In level one of rust build up the common characteristics that are noticeable to the naked eye are shallow dips, a slight accumulation of corrosion on the sides (as per image). Typically, this forms in carbon style when exposed to outdoor ambient conditions, the depth of this type of rust corrosion going down to about 100 microns. The main characteristics of level one are shallow rust in which the laser beam can easily meet all the surface of the metal substrate and a near normal line of sight angle. This means that the laser is very effective in partially transmitting through the rust, interacting with the surface substrate helping to release the rust on the surface.

In addition to the common characteristics mentioned above, metals can also show signs of artificial corrosion (artificial oxidation) in level 1 rust which has the same characteristics but with a much deeper formation of corrosion or oxide. In this type of corrosion, the metal doesn’t have too much pitting (dips) and consists of mainly shallow features allowing the layer interaction with the surface to remove rust with ease for a perfect finish.

For perfect results in level 1 rust removal, it is essential that the laser cleaning system has the capability to perform at high speed. This is a feature Powerlase excels in, together with our in-house Applications team we have spent thousands of hours developing each laser cleaning system to perform tasks at high speed, not only is this a key customer requirement, it is essential for the laser cleaning process to removal level 1 rust.