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Proceedings Paper

Laser ablation and competitive technologies in paint stripping of heavy anticorrosion coatings
Author(s): Georg D. Schuöcker; Robert Bielak
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Paper Abstract

During the last years surface preparation prior to coating operations became an important research and development task, since tightened environmental regulations have to be faced in view of the deliberation of hazardous compounds of coatings. Especially, ship-yards get more and more under pressure, because the environmental commitment of their Asian competitors is fairly limited. Therefore, in the US and in Europe several technology evaluation projects have been launched to face this challenge. The majority of coating service providers and ship yards use grit blasting; this process causes heavy emissions as of dust and enormous amounts of waste as polluted sand. Coating removal without any blasting material would reduce the environmental impact. Laser processing offers ecological advantages. Therefore thermal processes like laser ablation have been studied thoroughly in several published projects and also in this study. Many of these studies have been focused on the maintenance of airplanes, but not on de-coating of heavy protective coatings. In this case the required laser power is extra-high. This study is focused on the maintenance of heavy anti-corrosion coatings and compares the industrial requirements and the opportunities of the innovative laser processes. Based on the results of this analysis similar approaches as e.g. plasma jet coating ablation have been studied. It was concluded that none of these methods can compete economically with the conventional processes as grit blasting and water jetting since the required ablation rate is very high (>60m2/h). A new process is required that is not based on any blasting operation and which does not depend strongly on the coating's characteristic. The delamination of the coating where the coatings is not removed by evaporation, but in little pieces of the complete coating system meets these requirements. The delamination can be accomplished by the thermal destruction of the primer coating by an intense heat pulse generated by inductive heating of substrate's surface. After this operation the coating can be peeled off.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 May 2007
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6346, XVI International Symposium on Gas Flow, Chemical Lasers, and High-Power Lasers, 634633 (8 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.739114
Show Author Affiliations
Georg D. Schuöcker, HTC Systems GmbH & Co. KG (Austria)
Robert Bielak, Vienna Univ. of Technology (Austria)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6346:
XVI International Symposium on Gas Flow, Chemical Lasers, and High-Power Lasers
Dieter Schuöcker, Editor(s)

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