Surface Preparation in the Shipyard with Closed Loop Ablation (2012-466)
- General Lasertronics Corporation
- Vigor Industrial
- Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
- BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards
- Norfolk Naval Shipyard
NSRP ASE Investment: $150K
For several years, various organizations have tested laser ablation of coatings using open-loop laser firing controls. These studies indicated that open-loop laser systems with hand-held tools can produce deleterious effects, including metallurgical changes in substrate materials, melting / rounding of surface profile features, and entrainment of charred paint in the surface. In contrast, closed-loop laser technology has proven successful in demanding applications, including stripping on helicopter rotor blades, removal of specialty coatings on military aircraft, removal of paint / corrosion products on commercial aircraft, and nuclear decontamination. In this study, Lasertronics, with assistance from the Applied Research Laboratory of the Pennsylvania State University (ARL-PSU), tested and analyzed the effects of a closed-loop process on the metallurgical/mechanical properties and corrosion characteristics of ship materials.
The main project efforts consisted of coupon preparation, painting, laser cleaning, and testing in accordance with the procedures called out in NAVSEA Standard Item No. 009-32, Cleaning and Painting Requirements, and associated ASTM or SSPC methods. The project also conducted a demonstration of laser coating removal at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and prepared a recommendation for the addition of laser coating removal to Item No. 009-32.
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