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NETALUX® - Frequently Asked Questions

The technology


Q:             How does laser cleaning work? 

A:              Laser cleaning works according to the principle of pulsed laser ablation. We add a lot of energy to the

                 surface in the form of light in a very short period of time (nanoseconds). The light will be absorbed by

                 the contaminant, and will reflect on the substrate. In between the substrate and the contaminant, a

                 layer of gas will be created which pushes the contaminant away from the substrate. Minimal

                 evaporation is possible. The combination of these processes is called ablation. See page on

                 the technology.

               


Q:             Which materials can be cleaned with a laser? 

A:              The results are particularly good with metal substrates, with a variety of alloys, such as aluminium,

                 machine carbon steel, copper, stainless steel, etc. Mineral substrates like stone and concrete can be

                 cleaned as well, but the results will differ depending on the contaminant. Wood and other heat

                 absorbing materials like plastic are not recommendable.



Q:             Which substances can be removed with laser cleaning?

A:              We can remove a lot of organic and anorganic substances with a laser, such as grease, oxide, coatings

                  (paint), etc. Do you have a specific question or a challenging project? Send us your case via

                  info@netalux.com, chances are that we already have experience with your problem!


 

Q:             Does laser cleaning damage the substrate? 

A:              No, one of the big advantages of laser cleaning is that it doesn't damage the substrate when used

                 correctly. You can clean your delicate and expensive substrates without having to worry.


 

Q:             Does laser cleaning heat up the substrate? 

A:              Laser cleaning will slightly heat up the substrate, but this heating up will be minimal, since a pulsed

                 laser beam is used for laser cleaning. The pulses of light are so short that the substrate doesn't heat

                 up, or only heats up slightly (depending on the material of the substrate of course).


 

Q:             Does laser cleaning leave behind waste residue?

A:              No. Laser cleaning does not generate secondary waste. The results are so clean, that we can remove

                 visible finger prints from stainless steel!

  


Q:             Is laser cleaning harmful to the environment?

A:              No, not at all. Laser cleaning works with pure light, and does not add harmful chemicals to the proces.

                 No secondary waste is created like with sand blasting, where the sand that is used to clean is contaminated, 

                 and needs to be cleaned up afterwards. With laser cleaning, the contamination that is released is immediately

                 captured and collected, and can be safely deposited afterwards. The amount of waste is therefore minimal. 

           


Q:             Is cleaning with a laser difficult? 

A:              This is not a simple question. What is certain, is that we can teach you how to clean with a laser! There are some

                 basic skills you will need to develop to be able to work efficiently. In the Netalux Academy we teach you more about

                 the laser cleaning machines, the safety risks and how to mitigate them, and we will give you a practical training. Our

                 teachers will gladly share their practical knowledge with you! The lessons will be organised at our facilities in Belgium.

                 You can find more information on the Academy page, or via info@netalux.com.



Q:             Is laser cleaning expensive?

A:              Actually no. The price of a laser cleaning machine may seem steep, but if you look at the amount of laser beam output

                 in hours, and what you can accomplish in one hour of laser cleaning, then the cost per cleaning project isn't that high.

                 If you choose to let us do the cleaning for you, we are sometimes cheaper that other cleaning methods, because we

                 can set up relatively quickly, and there are no extra costs to clean up and process secondary waste, since laser

                 cleaning doesn't generate secondary waste. 



Q:             Can I hire someone to execute my laser cleaning works?

A:              Yes, besides a manufacturer of laser cleaning machines, Netalux is also a service provider. We can execute your

                 cleaning works at your site, or you can send your pieces to our workshop in Belgium, where we will clean them for you.

                 Netalux is unique in this, because we have extensive practical experience with laser cleaning in various sectors. We 

                 like a challenge, and thanks to this attitude we have built up a lot of knowledge about how laser cleaning works in

                 specific circumstances. Take a look at our Services page for more information. 




Applications


Q:             Who uses laser cleaning?

A:              Our customers come from a variety of sectors and industries, including the (petro)chemical, pharmaceutical, aeronotic

                 and food sectors. There are many different applications, and every customer has his own reason to choose laser

                 cleaning, whether it is the speed, the end result, the fact that there is no damage to the substrate, the easy setup (no

                 confinement needed), or something else. Laser cleaning is a human and environmentally friendly technology, and if

                 you also want to apply it, but are not sure how, don't hesitate to contact us! 



Q:             Can I use laser cleaning as a private person?

A:              No, unfortunately not (yet). Netalux only delivers her services and products to companies. 

 


Q:             Can I remove my tattoo with laser cleaning? 

A:              No, unfortunaly not. It is best to let your tattoo be removed by specialised medical personnel. 





The machines


Q:             What is something happens to my laser cleaning machine and I can't continue to work anymore? 

A:              The Netalux laser cleaning machines are built on our practical experience, and are made to be sustainable and

                 usable in all circumstances. We offer a maintenance contract with the sale of all our machines, this way the machine

                 will receive regular maintenance, and you'll always be sure that you'll be helped as soon as possible in case you should

                 encounter any problems. The customer is always key for us, you can count on our fast and friendly service!




Q:             Are high power laser cleaning machines better in removing contaminants than low power machines? 

A:             No, not necessarily. For some applications, like the cleaning of a weld, low power machines are better. The difference between

                the two types of machines lies in the profile of the laser pulse. It is thus not always the case that you need to have the highest power

                laser cleaning machine to be able to clean the best way possible. We will gladly assist you in your choice, and will give you the right advice

                based on the application you want for your laser cleaning machine.