Industrial: Nuclear, Refineries and Power Plants
Lasers are being used in the industrial sector that mainly includes nuclear plants, refineries, and power plants. The high power of lasers makes them a remarkable tool, which can be used for a wide spectrum of material-processing applications in the industrial segment. Unique properties of lasers, such as high spatial coherence along with spectral purity, can be used for remote diagnostics and precision metrology. Also, the use of optical fibers for laser beam delivery adds a new dimension to their use in inaccessible areas and highly radioactive environment.
Solid-state lasers with fiber optic beam delivery have been found to be extremely useful tools for material processing applications such as cleaning, ablation, cutting, welding and drilling in radioactive environment due to ease in tool handling, flexibility, non-contact nature, and longer tool life, and enormous time and cost saving. Laser material processing in nuclear fields is mainly concerned with the maintenance of nuclear power reactor parts by laser cleaning and welding, fabrication of new components, and nuclear power reactor decontamination and decommissioning. In addition, laser cleaning is also being increasingly used for remote diagnostics in nuclear operation. Laser cleaning systems are gaining traction in the maintenance of nuclear plants for the removal of impurities or contaminants deeply embedded within the surface of a material. Laser cleaning systems are used in the removal of radioactive concrete layers to avoid any possible contact with the radiation.
Refineries and Power Plants:
Laser cleaning is one of the most environmental-friendly ways to clean or prepare a fouled surface. This is because little or no waste is created during the process. Laser cleaning systems in refineries uses ablation process through which the coating layer is removed by irradiating it with a laser beam. Very powerful short laser pulses have little thermal influence on the base material. The blank base material reflects the laser radiation, stopping the ablation process. The ablation process helps remove one layer at a time during the paint process. Q-switched lasers with high power are widely used by refineries.
These lasers allow wear-free and selective cleansing of molds and tools from process residues such as carbon black, silicone, rubber, vulcanization residues or oils, and fat. Similarly, high-power short laser pulses remove oil and build-up by selective decoating. The original surfaces are neither damaged nor melted. Thus, laser cleaning systems allow a non-abrasive removal of oils, grease, and rust. This is usually necessary to prepare the surface for subsequent production steps such as the painting or welding. Laser cleaning systems provide a processing without any mechanical, chemical, or unauthorized thermal load on the carrier material.
We know some other industries such as; printing to clean the anilox steel roller, moulding cleaning insert mould after a certain number of cycle to maintain the quality of the mould, wind turbine repair and maintenance. Other application will be undercover in the next few years.
Industrial vs Global Laser Cleaning Market Size 2015–2023 (USD MILLION)
Industrial: Nuclear, refeneries, Power plant