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January 24 2018

colasertubeinfo
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How Does a Laser Tube Work

CO2 lasers are powerful gas lasers that work by running electricity through a gas-filled tube to produce light. These tubes are known as laser tubes and can be found in a variety of different strengths capable of processing different materials, but the process itself is always the same.

Laser Beam Production

A CO2 laser tube contains a gas mixture consisting of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, hydrogen, and helium. When the nitrogen molecules in this carefully chosen gas mixture are exposed to electrical currents they gain energy, becoming excited. This, in turn, excites the carbon dioxide molecules, creating a state in which there are more excited molecules within the system than non-excited molecules.

Once this point, known within the field as population inversion, is achieved, the nitrogen molecules can be exposed to the much colder helium molecules, which causes them to release their energy in the form of light. The amount of light produced is largely a matter of what strength laser tube is used. Different types of laser tube produce different amounts of light, which allows machines using stronger tubes to cut through denser materials.

Discharging the Light

In order to understand how this light beam gains enough strength to be used for cutting and engraving, it's important to realize the essential role played by the tubes themselves. In addition to containing the gas mixture described above, these tubes also contain mirrors on both ends. One of these mirrors is only partially reflective, allowing the light to travel repeatedly across the tube until it gains in intensity enough to pass through.

Determining Power and Wavelength

As noted above, the beam power of a CO2 laser is determined by the wattage of the laser tube being used. The highest-powered lasers designed for industrial use often run over 1,000 watts. However, most laser cutters and engravers available for consumer use require much lower wattage; in fact, a 150 watt laser tube is usually sufficient for basic machining needs.

Machine Maintenance

Laser machines such as laser cutters and laser engravers are designed to last, but they do require some basic maintenance. Much of this maintenance must be performed by a trained technician; however, users themselves are typically able to purchase new tubes online to replace those that have burned out from prolonged use. Whether they are new to the world of laser fabrication or are simply looking for replacement parts for existing machines, owners can check out one well-respected company that offers a competitive laser tube price and extensive information regarding laser products and services online today.

Don't be the product, buy the product!

Schweinderl