Laser System Offers Cost-Effective Tyre Mould Cleaning
German company cleanLASER has developed a new system for cleaning tyre moulds utilising a combination of handheld and automated laser tools. The system’s design consists of two laser optic tools that utilise laser light to clean the moulds. One tool is manually operated, while the second is automated. The system includes a beam-switch to enable the operator to select either a handheld cleaning tool for optimal versatility or a robotically mounted optic for repetitive high-speed treatments.
The handheld laser tool offers cleaning flexibility that cleanLASER notes is ideal for cleaning fully assembled moulds. Using this tool, operators can selectively or completely clean a mould, including difficult areas, removing all residues with high precision. The automated laser tool is designed to clean disassemble two-piece or segmented moulds. With it, mould components can be rapidly cleaned, either when cold or while still hot from the press – and faster, cleanLASER adds, than with any other cleaning option for assemble moulds.
The company believes its laser system combines versatility with a number of advantages over traditional methods. These include a compact design, which occupies floorspace of about only one square metre. It can be quickly set-up, is ready for operation immediately and is easily operated by semi-skilled personnel. Depending on laser power, mould size and condition, cleaning can be completed in as little as half an hour.
CleanLASER’s process cleans without abrasion or kinetic forces that can harm or deform sensitive inserts and details in mould surfaces. The company reports that laser cleaning is residue-free, does not force debris into mould vent holes and it safely cleans micro-spring vents without damage. The laser optics are designed with an integral suction channel to immediately capture vaporised residues while cleaning complex mould shapes and geometries without polluting the environment.
Laser mould cleaning technology is, adds cleanLASER, nearly maintenance-free with a very low operating cost. Cleaning with laser light eliminates the expense of consumables, such as ice pellet and abrasive blast media. Furthermore, there are no chemicals or secondary waste to handle, clean up and dispose of. Laser cleaning quality without abrasion delivers the benefit of keeping moulds clean longer, reducing cleaning cycles and extending in-service production time.
How laser cleaning works
CleanLASER uses short, focused laser pulses, scanned in a linear pattern across the target surface to vaporise and remove residues. These vapours are immediately captured to keep the work area clean and protect the environment. The laser process, comments cleanLASER, is much quieter than media blasting. Cleaning starts and stops instantly at the push of a button, and the equipment is designed for production intensive application and 24/7 operation with minimal maintenance.
For nearly fifteen years, CleanLASER has specialised in the design, manufacture and integration of laser systems for precise cleaning and surface treatments. The company offers a range of units for tyre mould cleaning with laser powers from 300 Watts to 1000 Watts, with customised features optimised for each application.