Next time you spend a few hours de-rusting an old piece of garden furniture or scrubbing the baked-on lasagna from last night’s oven dish, just think about how much faster you could be accomplishing the task if only you had access to a 1,000-watt laser cleaner.
That miraculous creation shown is the work of Belgian company P-Laser, and can be used as a handheld tool to carry out such tasks as rust, heavy paint, and grease removal, along with a variety of other applications on a number of different surfaces. If lightsaber-wielding Jedis were forced to take jobs as cleaners, this is how they would do it!
“Think of it a bit like a very powerful version of the kind of scanner you see in your local food store to scan barcodes,” Thijs Peeters, an R&D engineer for P-Laser, told Digital Trends. “It’s essentially a laser machine gun which shoots light bullets at an incredibly high pulse rate. When the light hits the surface, the dirt layer and any oxides under it absorb the energy and then evaporate or crimp off, leaving no residue.”
Laser cleaning is both a more eco-friendly and cost-efficient alternative to blasting or chemical processes, which would otherwise be used to carry out the same tasks. In addition, one of its biggest advantages is the precision that it offers.
“We are able to tune the lasers by shaping the pulse to either make it sharp or flat,” Peeters noted. “Those tuning possibilities mean the laser can be made nonaggressive when you’ve tuned it to the flatter shape, or more aggressive and focused if you want the sharper beam.”
Well, we’re sold — so how do we get our hands on a laser cleaner? Unfortunately, we might be being a little hasty. “We hear from a lot of consumers interested in doing tasks like de-rusting at home, for example,” Peeters said. “However, since this device is 40,000 euros it’s probably too expensive for home cleaning. Most of our customers are interested in industrial applications.”
But he does also acknowledge that there is constant work being done to bring down the price of such tools. Who knows, in ten years or so maybe we’ll all have our own handheld laser cleaners?
We’ll save the dirty oven dishes and rusty lawn furniture until then, just in case …