Important information for laser cleaning
We are often asked for information about cleaning with a laser. This document has been created to answer frequently asked questions (FAQ) and as a resource for anyone considering doing business with our Narran ROD laser cleaning systems. Laser cleaning is an emerging technology with huge commercial and industrial applications and a large number of potential customers.
About Narran Lasers the Company
Narran Precision Laser has a team of internationally motivated people with a passion for laser technology. We are a Czech company that was founded in 2013 to develop and manufacture our own laser systems, and automation, build single-purpose machines and sell laser equipment. In our development department, we have experts with degrees in nuclear physics focused on lasers, electrical engineers, mathematicians and physicists. This solid foundation is mainly underwritten by the development of cleaning lasers – design, implementation, and continuous improvement, but also other laser projects (designing single-purpose machines, robotic applications, automation, and designing solutions for customers). We can create a complete solution for almost any laser application from the initial customer idea to finished production.
Frequently Asked Questions...
Our Narran Precision Laser Cleaning uses concentrated laser radiation to evaporate impurities from the layer. Ultra-short laser pulses (μs-ms) are applied to the contaminants, generating heat and heat-induced pressure – the high temperature inside the material creates high pressure, which causes it to vaporise. Narran Laser cleaning is a non-contact, non-abrasive method and is therefore very gentle on the original material. Laser cleaning produces almost no waste material as most of the impurities are evaporated, and due to the high efficiency of the laser resonators used, the cleaning process has very low operating costs. Since the course of interaction of the laser radiation with the material is material-dependent, it is possible to adjust the cleaning parameters so that the substrate remains undamaged after cleaning.
Advantages of laser cleaning:
1. No damage to the underlying material.
2. Lower operating costs of vs traditional industrial cleaning methods.
3. Easy operation and intuitive HMI user interface.
4. Eco-friendly – no use of any added material or chemicals.
5. Fast return on your investment.
6. Speed and efficiency.
7. Fast implementation can be setup ready in minutes as well as shutdown, with less cleanup.
8. Produce minimal waste for EPA Regulation compliance.
Our Narran Lasers clean and remove Rust, Paint, Corrosive Coatings, Fats, oxidation, inks, oil, dried polyurethane, lacquers, adhesives, natural and synthetic rubbers, grease, much more, …
Our Narran Laser Cleaners have a very wide versatile range of uses, lots we don’t even know of yet:
The most well-known attribute of laser cleaning. Rust and contaminants can be removed from anything from metal nuts to large industrial machinery.
Narran Laser cleaning is one of the best steel preparation processes before any welding, soldering, gluing, or new application processes.
A common method used in the process and production industry. Efficient for removing dirt, moisture, or any other contaminant.
Laser cleaning is especially effective in Restoring worn-out stone or, heritage objects. For damage removal of Soot and smoke stains but it is recommended to find out in advance whether the cleaning cannot cause side effects for the material.
Individual parts cleaning
It is not always necessary to clean the whole object if it only has a few worn out parts allowing less downtime.
Narran Lasers with power from 100w to 2000W are capable of similar cleaning results but they differ greatly in the time it takes and finishes left on the substrate. It is therefore recommended to discuss the choice of the Laser Cleaner by the size and types of the surface being cleaned. Also, Narran Australia provide Water-Cooled machines for long operational times, as opposed to air-cooled machines have a shorter operational span before cooling shutdown may be required. You can see the applications below:
Narran Lasers can be divided into three categories by their power:
Low power Precision 100w Air-Cooled Rust and NDT Cleaning, hard to access spaces, indoor cleaning and stainless steel.
Medium power Precision 200w-300w Water-Cooled Rust, Paint and Corrosion, Stainless Steel Metal Stains, and Fire Restoration.
High power 500w-2000w Water-Cooled and Humidity Controlled for Heavy Paint, Rust and Coatings removals, quality finish low heat.
Narran Lasers as world leaders are very efficient and therefore environmentally friendly machines (ISO 14020 and ISO 14024). You do not need any additional materials for the cleaning process (abrasive media or blasting, water, dry ice pellets…), the efficiency of IPG Laser resonators is up to 50% and so the electricity consumption is up to 3000W / hour. Therefore, we usually state that the cost per hour of cleaning should not exceed $1-2/hour (wear of optics, electricity, preventive service).
With our programmable Narran Lasers, combining both hardware and software configurations, enable absorption of the dirt (rust, oil, paint, grease, adhesives, separators) where the laser ablation occurs, i.e. removal of impurities, but controls enough precision energy to not damage the substrate (steel, stainless steel, aluminium, metals, copper, stone, sandstone, granite, marble…), therefore it is especially suitable for cleaning moulds, tools, car parts, machines and also restoration in general.
The Narran Laser Cleaner is controlled by a large clear touch screen HMI. The user can easily select, save and name individual job tasks and parameters for easy repeat cleaning. It is now also possible with most models to adjust the main functions via the new ergonomic process head even during the cleaning itself. The system also allows various options of login and rights for increased security and process repeatability.
All Narran Australia ROD model series of cleaning lasers are Class 4, so it is necessary to follow certain rules for safe use. Our lasers usually have a wavelength of 1064-1070nm, this is an area of infrared radiation, i. e. invisible to the human eye. Therefore, it is necessary to wear special goggles in the first place. Other rules are specified according to EN 60825-1 which we will, of course, guide you through and train accordingly with our recommended online certified Laser Safety Training programs.
We supply the highest quality PPE Laser safety glasses currently on the market.
All of the variants we offer have Australian and International CE certification.
Portable Laser Security Barriers
These Laser protection barriers are designed to increase safety when using laser Equipment, especially portability for site operations.
Protects against laser radiation and meets the following certifications and standards: ANSI, CE and NFPA-701
We do not expect the price of Laser systems to fall over the next 5 years from this current new generation and technology. The knowledge needed to manufacture components and systems is highly specialised and there is no room for any significant price drops. Even since Covid started our materials cost has risen,once our manufacturers stocks have depleted, increases may even rise.
The average life service of our resonator and diodes, which is the source of a Laser is more than 100,000 hours of use. This would equate to approximately 20-25 years of operational usage. Our Standard Warranty is 12 Months with an optional Warranty up to 3 years.
Our Narran Series Laser Cleaning Machines are designed to be virtually maintenance-free, of course, subject to Operators taking due care of keeping the optical parts of the laser clean with normal maintenance. If our Training and SOP instructions have adhered to, then preventive service is generally not required by Narran Australia on these machines and the water-cooled IPG Resonators can be used for almost non-stop operation.
However, sometimes machinery, software or hardware can have a few hiccups or merely operators confusion for the usage cleaning of different materials and applications.
Of course, we are always available with normal methods of communications, email, phone and depending on the location of course on-site.
Remote access if necessary and if required to use, our Narran Laser Machines are setup as mandatory for support and technical services. This enables our Narran machines for remote internet login support, we can then troubleshoot almost any problem and even drive your Laser Machine HMI Dashboard to show and instruct your cleaning programs. This service is unique to Narran CZ and Narran Australia as usually unavailable from most other suppliers.
Of course, you are required to make an advance appointment at our demonstration Workshop in Newcastle, NSW.
However, we need to carefully discuss your applications and conditions before ascertaining correct safety operational procedures. Therefore, prior pictures and parts with concept proof testing are required. In certain instances, it may require a financial commitment to confirm companies have budgeted correctly and researched applications suitable for Laser Cleaning. see RoLA
Very good question, and at times some overseas suppliers especially from Asia can be quite unscrupulous in revealing the actual truth. To confirm and assist with your research, Narran Australia supplies independent RoLA (Research of Laser Application) Testing Services, demonstrating the research and testing of a specified, particular, Laser Cleaning Machine model/s or Laser Resonator Output Power Level/s.
RoLA Testing Videos are provided to assist with evaluation of the relevance, suitability, proposed practical usage approach of theory in the workshop environment, related to the specifically nominated Laser Application for Cleaning/Surface Preparation of nominated materials/parts relevant to the client’s desired, proposed usage of Lasers for Cleaning.
With Laser Applications for Surface Preparation/Cleaning, a RoLA can help highlight, investigate and evaluate whether certain aspects of a particular Laser Cleaning idea equate to a technologically feasible possibility from a research standpoint.
You should discuss with us for unique differences, qualities, and options Narran Australia may offer that another company may not.
That depends on the system, for outputs such as 100, 200, and 300w the fibre cable is custom ordered up to 5-15 metres, 500 -2000w can be 15-20m
It is even possible to technically custom build a system with different specifications up to 30-50metres, however the practical limitations need to be seriously considered.
The beam itself is a small factor, which is further worked with the use of mirrors, therefore it can be scattered into any shape (lines, circles, rectangles, ellipses, etc.). The width of the beam, therefore, depends on the size we program, then on the optics used, due to the smooth manual move during the cleaning process we usually choose a width of 8cm. It is usually possible to choose between approximately 2-10cm, for special applications up to approximately 30cm.
Narran Laser Cleaning machines are designed to be virtually maintenance-free; if our SOP Instructions are adhered to, then preventive service is not normally required by N arran Australia on these machines and the laser (water-cooled) machines can be used for almost non-stop operation.
What will happen if a laser beam runs over my hand?
Of course, it depends on how it happens, what setting are you using,.., If you hit within the focusing distance, you will burn your hand, if your hand happens to be out of the focusing distance, you will only feel the heat. The laser is partially reflected, partially absorbed in the material, it can also pass through the material.
This is an Unsafe practice and a completely irresponsible act, we do not advise to attempt this situation at any time.
Cleaning rust with our Narran Laser Cleaner is one of the most used applications, this is the most efficient and effective method of removing rust.
Rust, paint, varnish, oil, and other contaminants will NOT resist laser cleaning methods, allowing a huge range of possible applications.
Specific industry applications should always consult with Narran Australia to determine the most cost-efficient methods and options to provide the best outcome and ROI. Also consideration should be given to RoLA
Cooling the laser machine is important in the operation of the equipment.
The Laser beam comes from a hand-held cleaning head, it comprises a triggered housing for containing the optic components in a shell or gun housing. The hand-held cleaning head can be used to safely direct laser energy to a surface to be cleaned; the laser beam ablates from the surface coatings, corrosion, and the like without harming the substrate.
The Air-cooled Laser Cleaning Resonator and portable Hand-Held Cleaning Head are cooled by the environmental air with fans and or cooling fins.
The Water-cooled Laser Cleaner is cooled by a chiller or condenser, via tubes to the laser resonator and the cleaning head.
Narran Australia has customised the specific machines for operational usage in Australian climates to control heat and humidity
Difference Air Cooled vs Water Cooled Lasers
- Smaller precision operations
- Compact and portable
- Less cost but higher maintenance
- Less cooling protection
- Industrial medium and large operations.
- High energy efficiency.
- Near constant performance achievable, independently of the ambient temperature.
- Higher initial cost
- Lower maintenance
- IP62 Ingress Protection
Rather than specify a comparison list, we recommend the features and benefits of our Narran Range of Laser Cleaners, some competitors may have some features and some may not.
Narran Water-Cooled Lasers by Narran Australia have the following main features:
Our Narran Lasers have complete water-cooling with full integration and Humidity control from the IPG Resonator and cabinet throughout the fibre cable and into the Laser Handheld, with freon Chillers, alarms, and temperature controls to HMI
Narran Lasers have dust protection Ingress
- Single Transportable Unit with a smaller footprint, less cumbersome than separate chillers and cables. (normally separate chillers are larger units due to the requirements of large water tanks for circulation cooling only. Lower quality builds with no alarms. and non-refrigerant cooling).
- Due to the unique technology of Narran Lasers manufacturing, we have enabled our smaller size chillers to accommodate our full range of Water-Cooled 200w to 300w and the 500w to 2000w Laser machines. The Narran 200w is the world’s-first water-cooled 200w mid-range machine available in Australia.
- The Australian mining and industrial applications can be quite demanding environments, the technology of Narran CZ manufacturing enable dust protection to IP62 Ingress protection to provide lower maintenance.
- Alarms and Temperature control needs to be inbuilt and adjustable to allow different climates, applications, and long operational shifts.
- Narran Australia provides unique extra internal heat exchanger units for Australian climates and humidity control
What is the difference in efficiency between cleaning lasers according to their power?
In this video we decided to compare 4 different performance ranges of our Narran ROD pulsed fibre cleaning systems side by side.
However, there are other parameters and recipes than just power that provide different cleaning results with different materials and contaminants.
We tested different contamination including oxidation, engine contamination, paint and more. When talking about power, the most important parameter is contamination thickness and required cleaning speed, once you know this information, we can help decide which power would have the best cost/efficiency ratio for your application.
About laser cleaning:
Impurities are removed from the layer using concentrated laser radiation during laser cleaning. Tens of thousands ultra-short laser pulses (ns) per second will produce heat and heat-induced pressure (the material’s high temperature creates a high pressure, causing it to evaporate), which will remove any impurities.
Due to the high efficiency of our IPG laser resonators used, almost no waste material is produced during laser cleaning, and the cleaning process has very low operating costs. The majority of impurities also evaporate during laser cleaning. A non-contact, non-abrasive technique that is very gentle on the material’s surface is laser cleaning. It is possible to set the cleaning parameters so that the substrate is left unharmed after cleaning because the way that laser radiation interacts with a material depends on the material.