Study on the Main Influencing Factors in the Removal Process of Non-Stick Fluoropolymer Coatings Using Nd:YAG Laser
Romero, Pablo E.
Laser coating removal
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The coatings with fluoropolymer resins rich in fluorinated ethylene propylene (FEP) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) are applied as anti-adherent coatings on aluminum–magnesium substrates for use in food containers. In many cases, due to wear, they must be stripped for the application of a new coating on the same substrate. There are several processes for this: blasting, plasma, pyrolysis, chemical processes, laser, high pressure water, and combinations of these. This work focuses on the characterization of the main factors that condition the FEP coating removal process by a continuous wave (CW) Nd:YAG laser, and on the determination of the efficiency of this type of technology used for this purpose. Stripping surface per unit of time and energy consumption per unit area has been determined among other efficiency indicators. Regarding the characterization of the coating object of study, its thickness, surface roughness, contact angle, microhardness and absorbance-reflectance responses have been determined, and the results have been compared with those obtained in the case of PTFE. In addition, to evaluate the mechanical damage caused in the substrate after coating removal by (CW) Nd:YAG laser, the tensile strength, Vickers hardness, Ra and Rz roughness, and the substrate thickness have been measured and analyzed.