Laser Rust Removal And The Truth Behind It

You’ve probably seen the video below circulating on social media this week and thought to yourself, “Holy cow! A device that removes rust effortlessly with no cleanup? I need that!” Well, I thought the exact same thing so I used my expert college research skills (Google) and here is what I came up with.

First the good news. Auto rust technicians will be happy ! This technology is real and it works. It’s also the dream tool for anyone who has a project car sitting in their garage. This machine creates a high power laser that you can set to a certain “depth” that will scrape the rust off existing metal surfaces. There is also a small vacuum in the gun that sucks up all debris as you blast it off. This means that it is chemical free, dust free, and cleanup free! It’s the latest in tech industry news!

Looking through forums discussing the new device, its simplicity and the operator’s apparent lack of safety gear other than goggles raises questions from enthusiasts and skeptics alike, from “How can I buy one?” to “How do I know it really works?”

The company explains that the device aims short, 1000-W laser pulses at the rusted piece, producing micro-plasma bursts, along with thermal pressure and shockwaves to sublimate the rust and separate it from the metal without damaging the piece. Material removal is halted when the laser is applied to a clean surface because it only sublimates rust. (Sublimation is the transition from a solid to a gas.)

Too good to be true? Almost.

The bad news is that you can’t really go down to Home Depot and pick one up. I reached out to Adapt Laser Systems, the creators of these beautiful devices, and told them I was interested in their product.

“Our laser systems are high end industrial cleaning tools for many industrial applications. They are being used in fully automated systems to prepare parts to welding, or to strip paint of aircraft, such as the F-16.

Our Backpack unit with 20W starts at $80,000.00. The CL 1000, as featured on the You Tube or the TV show, starts at $480,000.00.”

Life is not fair isn’t it ? Costs for low-power units start at $50,000. Power supplies can be worn as a backpack for mobile devices, and roll-out generators are available for stationary models. The low-power, 12-W devices treat small areas, and medium- and high-power devices up to 1000 W tackle intensive projects. Customized designs are available for specialized process controls and other cleaning applications. CleanLaser also offers robot-guided and gantry systems.