Monday, September 12, 2016

This Hand-Held Laser Makes Rust Literally Evaporate

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Rust is the bane of any mechanic. If you work on your car—whether it’s a beloved classic or just your daily driver—you’ve probably stared at stubborn, inevitable corrosion and wished you could banish it with the wave of a magic wand.

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Sadly, magic wands aren’t real. But this hand-held, 1000-watt laser that blasts away rust, paint, and any other coating, revealing virgin bare metal in seconds is real. Yes. A frickin’ laser.

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This device is called the P-Laser QF-1000. Like its rigid-mounted counterparts, the hand-held instrument is meant for industrial applications, like preparing metal for robotic welding or removing residue from manufacturing molds. As such, it’s very expensive: P-Laser told us that a low-power QF-50, with only 50 watts of muscle, costs €47,800, or more than $53,000 at today’s exchange rate. We assume that’s outside your tool budget.

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How does it work? A P-Laser spokesperson explained that the system uses short pulses of laser light. When aimed at a metal surface, “the dirt layer and any oxides underneath will absorb the energy and evaporate.” The metal underneath will not absorb the laser energy, leaving nothing but a clean surface ready for welding or painting.

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We know what you’re thinking, and the answer is no: This thing won’t vaporize human flesh. Amazingly, aiming this laser blaster at your finger doesn’t even hurt at all.

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Still, if we got our hands on one of these babies, we wouldn’t be able to help ourselves. We’d be quoting our favorite scene from Goldfinger with every pull of the laser-trigger: No, Mr. Rust, I expect you to die!

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This story originally appeared on Road & Track via Gizmodo.

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