In the automotive manufacturing process, drawing or cooling lubricants and anti-rust oils used can contaminate automotive components and severely degrade the quality of subsequent high-energy joining or bonding processes. The welds and bonds in the powertrain components must meet strict quality standards, so the joints must be thoroughly cleaned. Traditional cleaning methods are time-consuming, cannot be automated, and often have a detrimental impact on the environment. The fast, automated nature of laser cleaning allows for thorough cleaning of surface residues, resulting in strong, void- and micro-crack-free welds and bonds. In addition, laser cleaning is gentle and the process is significantly faster than other methods, advantages that have been recognized by the automotive industry.
In the industrial field, in order to protect metal or other substrate materials, the surface is generally painted to prevent rust, oxidation, and corrosion. When the paint layer is partially peeled off or the surface needs to be repainted for other reasons, the original paint layer needs to be completely cleaned. In the automotive industry, the old paint on the surface needs to be removed so that the new paint can be applied before the body is overhauled. There are many traditional car body paint cleaning methods, mainly mechanical and chemical methods, among which mechanical methods include high-pressure water jet paint removal, sandblasting and steel brush grinding, and chemical methods mainly refer to chemical reagents for paint removal. These methods have defects such as high cost, high energy consumption, easy pollution, and easy damage to the surface of the substrate, and have gradually failed to meet the modern high requirements for environmental protection of cleaning methods. In response to this situation, many new cleaning technologies have emerged, and laser cleaning machine, as one of the important means, has gradually shown its superiority. Selective removal, no substrate damage, and fast cleaning rates are key enabling factors for laser cleaning paints.