VULCAN: a new CleanSky 2 program for RESCOLLRescoll'Blog / 13 février 2019
VULCAN: DeVelopment of a Universal seLeCtive stripping solution for Aircraft coatiNgs
The VULCAN project aims at developing an industrial laser stripping process able to selectively remove layer by layer the top coat of an aircraft paint system, with an accuracy of 1 μm. Currently, there are three ways available for stripping coated surfaces:
- Photo ablation: often done by IR laser (but also by visible laser), this process uses strong pulses that vaporizes the material on the surface. Laser ablation generates a plasma cone around the beam that accelerates the ablation process and the release of waste.
- Photo degradation: requiring an ultraviolet wavelength laser, this process uses high-energy light rays causing the destruction of the chemical bonds of the coatings.
- Laser shock: an innovative process, use laser pulses generating shock waves in the material. These shocks can selectively destroy layers of coatings or adhesives
The VULCAN project objective is to go beyond traditional laser stripping using laser shock in order to fulfill all requirement of aerospace industry that are:
- Development of a dry stripping process
- Environmental friendliness: no use of chemicals and liquid solutions, reduction of production of hazardous wastes, no water consumption, limited worker exposure to toxic and hazardous substances, reduction of hazardous material disposal costs
- Universal solution that can be applied on metallic and composite substrates
- Selective = controlled stripping of a thin layer without affecting the surface treatment or the prime
- For metals = corrosion protection stays intact, for composites = no top coat or fibers damages
- No deformation or any kind of damage
- Automated for productivity benefits (cost effective, reproductibility, efficient speed,
The VULCAN project is a partnership between the PIMM, a public research lab working on laser shock applications since 1990 and RESCOLL, specialized in innovative assembly and manufacture of added value high-strength parts for aeronautics and it's funded under the Clean Sky programs.