When cleaning molds, it’s very important to keep the surface texture and form factor unaffected by the cleaning technique. Unlike sandblasting and dry ice blasting, no force is exerted with laser cleaning. The thing that provides the cleaning, is the impact of the blasted particles, but this impact has the same effect on the mold itself, causing wear that shortens the life of the mold.
With laser cleaning, a (short pulsed) laser beam goes through the pollution, but gets reflected on the mold. This reflection causes no heating or wear on the mold. The reflected beams evaporate a part of the pollution. Everything that doesn’t evaporate, comes off the mold eventually and stays there as loose residue. This can easily be vacuumed with a vacuum cleaner.
Do you want to clean your molds without having to disassemble them? Then sandblasting and dry ice blasting isn’t ideal for this job. All the dirt will fly around and will attach to the environment. The dry ice may be evaporated, but the dirt has spread around in the environment. With laser cleaning, the parts that come off, don’t go further than a few centimeters. This means that the environment doesn’t have to be shielded to be protected from all the dirt flying around.
Laser cleaning is very quiet. You can easily talk over the sound. The environment will experience little trouble when cleaning.
No chemicals.. No consumables anymore that need to be purchased and supplied. And definitely no chemicals anymore that are sometimes used for the chemical cleaning of molds, which is expensive, dangerous and not good for the environment. With laser cleaning, only pure light is used.
Laser cleaning is suitable for food molds with difficult shapes like waffle irons, dough molds and baking molds with special coatings. Not only the pollution gets removed, but the release-coating as well, which after that can be easily reapplied.
Also molds used in the pharmaceutical sector are suitable for laser cleaning: the thin shapes don’t wear off and the light goes into the smallest corners. And of course, the dirt stays on the spot and doesn’t fly around. A good thing is that the laser beams remove all bacterial contamination, but by not creating air flows, there is no chance that external contamination will come into the mold.
Injection molds are very suitable to clean with laser beams. The molds don’t have to be disassembled, but can be cleaned on the spot in only a few minutes. The light of the laser beam reflects on the surface of the mold but gets absorbed by the contamination on the mold, which causes it to separate from the mold.
Manual or automatic?
If only a few molds have to be cleaned, this can easily be done manually. With occasional cleaning, someone from our service team will come to you to perform the cleaning. If you regularly need to clean molds, it may be more interesting to purchase your own laser cleaning machine. Let us know if you would like to discuss this with us.
Do you have a large number of molds, like in a waffle oven, then it could be easier to work with a robot where a laser cleaning head is mounted on. Laser flux has mobile robot cleaners, we will come to you with them, program the head and clean your molds. This is also offered as a service by us, but you can also buy one of our mobile laser cleaning robots. You can also go one step further and install a fixed laser cleaning installation in your production line.