Laser paint stripping

East Hartford, CT - It’s one of those interesting industrial laser applications that, for one reason or other, never seem to make the market impact that it should. I’m talking about the use of high-energy lasers to remove paint from structural materials, such as aircraft fuselages.

East Hartford, CT - It’s one of those interesting industrial laser applications that, for one reason or other, never seem to make the market impact that it should. I’m talking about the use of high-energy lasers to remove paint from structural materials, such as aircraft fuselages. This application dates to the early 1970s when preliminary work was done to successfully remove anti-fouling paint (and barnacles) from submarine hulls. Incipient interest from the off-shore drill rig companies, where salt water (and those ubiquitous barnacles) damages paint, offered some unfulfilled promise.

In the 1980s interest shifted to aircraft as both the commercial airlines and the DOD showed interest in a more environmentally friendly processes to remove paint from metal surfaces (commercial planes) and non-metal surfaces (military aircraft). Some successes resulted but the application never really took off (pardon the pun), for mostly economic reasons.

Now, as is the case for many applications that only require a more efficient and less costly laser source, the paint stripping application is back on the front burner again as the Armed Services take another look at the process. And it looks like there may be some new life for this application and for the products that will be used to accomplish them.

You can learn more about the state-of-the art for laser paint stripping by attending SALA (April 14-15) where a special session of this Symposium on Advanced Laser Applications will cover developing work in the United Sates and abroad (South Africa). Register now for SALA by accessing the website, www.ccat.us/sala. Don’t hesitate because this popular Symposium has limited seating.

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