An Automated System for the Laser-Based Stripping of RAM Coatings
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 71, Hanover, NH, -
Jay Rozzi, PhD
AbstractDemonstrations have shown that laser-based stripping systems can effectively and affordably vaporize and strip aircraft coatings in an environmentally friendly manner when coupled to a vapor-removal system. However, all of the laser-based systems in use today are"open-loop"systems that require a pre-set recipe of laser power, beam diameter, and scan speed to remove a pre-selected coating thickness. The lack of automation associated with current laser-based stripping methods limits the effective stripping rate. Our innovation is a novel Automated Coating Removal System (ACRS) that couples a Non-Contact Coating Measurement (NCCM) system for the real-time measurement of the coating thickness to an established laser-based stripping system. Our approach eliminates the need to develop a pre-set recipe of laser parameters prior to stripping the coating, enables real-time process monitoring and Statistical Process Control (SPC), and enables the current strip rates for laser-based stripping to be exceeded. During the Phase I project, we will assemble the NCCM system, complete testing on relevant materials and geometries, and design the system for integration on the manufacturing floor. During Phase II, we will complete the ACRS design, integration, testing, and transition. BENEFIT: Because our technology enables the accurate, real-time measurement of the coating thickness in single or multi-layer coatings, we expect that numerous commercial and military applications would benefit from the application of our innovative ACRS. In addition, the development and implementation of our innovation would increase the market for coated materials in applications where they are not currently used.
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