Laser cleaning technology can address corrosion in an eco-friendly and safe way.

New Laser Technology Aims To Combat Corrosion

By David Thierer

Sooner or later, a ship owner will come face-to-face with iron oxide (Fe²O³), commonly known as rust. This reddish-brown invader will eventually show up on a vessel and find its way into every crevice and crack if allowed. It is not a question of if this will happen but rather when. With this well-known adversary, time will do nothing but worsen the situation if rust is not dealt with quickly and effectively.

Another term many ship owners become acquainted with over time is corrosion. Rust is only one type of corrosion, which is defined by The American Heritage Science Dictionary as “the breaking down or destruction of a material, especially a metal, through chemical reactions.” The most common form of corrosion is rusting, which occurs when iron combines with oxygen and water. Also, electrochemical reactions, erosion and stray currents are just some of the causes of corrosion that can take their toll on a vessel.

Corrosion is a $5 billion problem plaguing the maritime industry and affects ship owners worldwide regardless of what their vessel is made of or where they are located. Thankfully, rust and corrosion can be avoided through regular maintenance and cleaning. But how can ship owners effectively treat corrosion on marine vessels and ships?

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Corrosion can be addressed through traditional methods of rust removal, such as wire brushing, sandpapering and sandblasting. The problem is that these methods are messy, time-consuming, labor-intensive and can even damage the material being worked on. These methods also make it next to impossible to work on an isolated surface without damaging the surrounding area.

A New Kind Of Technology

Cutting-edge laser cleaning technology can address corrosion in an eco-friendly and safe way. Laser Photonics, a Florida-based industrial laser manufacturer, has recently introduced the Marine Application Rust Laser Inhibitor (MARLIN). This new laser cleaning tool can address corrosion and rust on marine vessels. Ship owners are now able to clean corrosion in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner.

The MARLIN Handheld LPC-100M-MHS laser is an air-cooled pulse-finishing laser system that can tackle corrosion on small marine vessels. Its portable design allows it to effectively clean and treat surfaces that require delicate cleaning, coating removal, corrosion removal and other forms of surface preparation. The Marlin product line offers various systems with multiple power levels to match the specific needs on a vessel.

The MARLIN laser system offers a non-abrasive cleaning process that is safer and easier to use than traditional abrasive cleaning methods. Another benefit of the MARLIN is that it eliminates the need for chemicals or other consumables while complying with regulations from organizations like OSHA and EPA.

Caption for photo: Laser cleaning technology can address corrosion in an eco-friendly and safe way.