Laser Cleaning

Laser cleaning is a technique used to remove contaminants from a surface. Optimizing the laser parameters ensures effective removal of contaminants while leaving the treated substrate intact. This process can follow a specific geometry or extend to the entire surface. Its versatility makes it widely used in sectors such as automotive, medical, semiconductor manufacturing, electric vehicles and battery production, ensuring high quality and consistency between treated parts.

Applications of Laser Cleaning

Laser Cleaning finds application in a wide range of sectors:


It is used to remove paint, coatings and contaminants from components without damaging the underlying materials.


It is used to remove oxides, residues and contaminants from electronic components, ensuring their reliability and high performance.


Laser cleaning improves the quality of manufactured products by removing contaminants and coatings from surfaces before further processing.

Advantages of Laser cleaning

Laser cleaning offers numerous advantages over traditional methods:

Environmentally friendly

it eliminates the need for abrasive materials or aggressive chemicals, reducing waste and environmental impact.


Laser cleaning enables the selective removal of contaminants, leaving the substrate intact.


Operators are exposed to fewer health risks than with traditional cleaning methods which may involve the use of toxic chemicals or abrasive powders.


Laser cleaning is faster and more efficient than many traditional methods, reducing downtime in industrial applications.

Key factors when choosing a laser source

Wavelength: The wavelength of the laser is selected according to the material to be cleaned. Different materials react differently to specific wavelengths, ensuring efficient and selective cleaning.

Power and Energy: The laser source allows control of parameters such as power, pulse duration and repetition rate. This control ensures adaptability to different cleaning requirements.

Depth of field (focal tolerance): Some surfaces may be uneven or not flat. A laser cleaning system with a high depth of field can ensure that the laser beam maintains the appropriate focus regardless of surface geometry, guaranteeing a constant cleaning effect on the component.

M² and depth of field

The factor  measures the quality of the laser beam and represents the degree of variation from an ideal Gaussian beam (=1).

Higher M² values correspond to a larger laser spot size and a wider focus tolerance. This allows us to cover a specific area in less time, thus speeding up the process.

At low values of M² (1< M² <2), the laser spot size is smaller and the ability to precisely focus the laser is higher (low focus tolerance), allowing for more selective material removal (e.g. cleaning of “transparent” contaminants such as oil or grease).

At the same time, a higher M² factor translates into lower energy density, so it is very important to check that, compatibly with the speed required for the application, there is sufficient energy density to reach for the application and to exceed the contaminant ablation threshold.

As always, there is a balance between quality and cycle time; the ability to test different laser sources with different characteristics allows us to choose the most correct source for the application.

The table below compares different laser sources with different characteristics. The difference in energy density between two lasers with the same power but different M² is evident.
Power(W)Energy density [J/cm²]

Laser cleaning of metal surfaces

Laser cleaning improves the quality and durability of metal components and helps save costs by reducing the need for manual labor and environmentally harmful chemical processes.

Laser cleaning plays a crucial role within the production cycle and is characterized by its extraordinary flexibility, versatility, consistency and practicality. Furthermore, laser cleaning proves reliable in removing materials down to sub-micron thicknesses, significantly reducing the risk of surface damage compared to other cleaning technologies or methods.
Metallo_Automotive_CampionePulizia Laser Cleaning

Let's look further at possible applications:

Before welding two pieces of metal together, it is crucial to ensure that the surfaces are free of contaminants such as rust, grease and paint. The Laser effectively removes these contaminants, ensuring strong, clean welds. This is particularly important in the automotive and shipbuilding industries.

Metal components exposed to high temperatures, such as boiler tubes and heat exchangers, often develop oxide layers. The Laser can remove these oxide layers, improving heat transfer efficiency and prolonging component life.

As with oxide layers, lasers are used to remove paint and coatings from metal surfaces. The versatility of the laser makes it possible to avoid masking the component during painting and then selectively remove it only where required.

Rust can be a significant problem, affecting the appearance and structural integrity of components. Here too, the process can be carried out by laser cleaning, helping to prolong their service life.

Residues and contaminants can accumulate over time. Laser cleaning ensures that molds and dies remain clean and free of build-up, guaranteeing consistent product quality and reduced downtime.

Aluminum components used in the aerospace and automotive industries require rigorous cleaning processes. Laser cleaning is used to remove contaminants and oxides from aluminum surfaces, ensuring that the metal meets stringent quality and performance standards.
Various coatings are often applied in the metal industry, such as thermal coatings on turbine blades or wear-resistant coatings on industrial components. When it is necessary to remove these coatings, Laser cleaning offers a precise, efficient method without damaging the underlying metal substrate.

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