A blasting system for the removal of coatings or paint from an underlying surface uses an optical device to position the blasting nozzle an appropriate stand-off distance from the surface. The blasting media can use a variety of blasting media including abrasives, water, and various specialty blasting media. The preferred optical system is mounted to or integral with the blasting nozzle, and uses a diode laser, a beam splitter and a reflecting mirror to generate a reference beam and a gauge beam. Alternatively, two diode lasers can be used to generate the reference beam and gauge beam respectively. The reference beam propagates in a fixed forward direction, but the direction of the gauge beam is adjustable. The user adjusts the orientation of the gauge beam so that the image of the beam on the surface aligns with the image of the reference beam on the surface when the blasting nozzle is positioned at the appropriate stand-off distance from the surface. Alternatively, the center of the blasting pattern o the surface can be used as a rough estimate for the reference beam, thereby avoiding the need to generate and align two non-parallel beams.
University of Northern Iowa Research Foundation
Klein, Richard J. II and Lampe, Christopher A., "Light beam targeting and positioning system for a paint or coating removal blasting system" (2007). Patents (University of Northern Iowa). 9.