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Removal of intermetallide layer from pipe threads

The wide range of settings of the laser device is one of its main achievements. It is possible not only to clean surfaces from contaminants, but also to process by changing the morphology of the surface. Our company is regularly approached by enterprises with a proposal to experiment with the use of laser equipment. In this article we will tell you about the experiments for Majorpack company and the prototype laser system developed for them.

About company

Majorpack is an international company that develops and manufactures various polymer coatings to protect and increase the service life of tubing. Technology and products of majorpack are successfully used by domestic and foreign oil companies.

Источник: majorpack.com

Research objective

One of the ways to combat corrosion and wear of pipes is the protector protection coating of Fe/Zn intermetallide. The treatment process is as follows: the pipe is cut to the required dimensions, a thread is created on it and then the entire product is coated with intermetallide. In the future, in the course of operation, the pipes will be connected to each other, so the company provides a check of the connection of the pipe with a bushing. If it is screwed all the way in, the connection is considered secure.

Coating sample of tubing based on Fe/Zn intermetallide.

If the bushing is not screwed all the way in, it means that an excessive layer of intermetallide has been applied, which has led to an increase in the diameter of the pipe. In this case, the product is rejected and recycled. It is impossible to remove the layer by mechanical means.

Majorpack approached Pokkels with the task of conducting experiments to remove the intermetallide layer from the surface of the tubing.

Work stages

First experiments

Every study at Pokkels starts with the development of test stands and the collection of samples from the customer. First the experiment is done manually to see if it is possible in principle to remove the intermetallide layer with a laser device. For this we used a fragment of defective pipe and a gauge that simulated the socket thread. It was necessary to get the gauge to be able to turn 20 rotations. Initially, it only turned 5 rotations. By hand laser machining we were able to achieve the desired effect. The test data was given to the customer to evaluate the result. Based on the research of Majorpack’s technologists, we were able to adjust the laser machining modes.

Selection of optimal parameters and development of a prototype

A manual laser treatment study answers the question of whether the installation can remove the intermetallide layer. However, it is not possible to identify a clear pattern and perform the calculations necessary to determine the parameters. Therefore, the next stage of experiments is carried out using automated systems with fixed processing modes. The goal of further experiments is to select the optimal parameters of the laser setup and determine the appropriate type of automation.

Protective coating of tubing

In the course of research, a pattern was identified between the power and the speed of laser processing. A prototype of a future automatic machine was developed: a statically fixed laser head that processes a rotating tube. The unit interacts only with the pipe threads. Due to the width of the laser sweep, the entire thread is exposed to the laser light and the intermetallide layer is evenly removed.

In addition to the type of automation it is important to select the optimum optical system. The setting of the optics determines the intensity of the exposure to the machined surface. In this case it was important that the laser system had a deep impact on the machined surface in order to remove the intermetallide.


Pokkels has developed a prototype system for the automatic laser treatment of pipe threads. The 100 W unit can remove an intermetallide layer at a speed of 1 micron per second. Thanks to the optimally selected mode, the operator only needs to control the processing time, on which the depth of exposure to the surface depends.

The Pokkels automated system will help the company solve the problem of defective pipes. The system is mobile and can be installed in any production area.

Laser cleaning of threads from the intermetallide layer

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