If you want to buy a CO2 laser machine, you must consider three factors. One of the main attributes that distinguishes the systems that are on the market is the laser tube that the machine uses as a type of laser. The two main options you will find water cooled glass tubes and air cooled metal tubes.
Glass laser tubes
Water-cooled glass tubes are usually a tempting option, mainly because of their low cost. The glass tubes themselves are less expensive and the laser is produced by the excitation of the gas with direct current (DC), which constitutes a relatively economical process. In addition, glass tubes produce good quality rays that work properly for laser cutting. However, glass laser tubes have a number of disadvantages.
Almost everyone needs to be cooled by water. Glass is a bad conductor of electricity, so water circulation is required to remove heat. Without a water cooling system, the glass laser tube would overheat and stop working. This cooling system increases costs and space, in addition to adding more points of failure that need maintenance.
The need for a water cooling system also presents some considerable safety problems. The DC power supplies that excite the CO2 gas in a glass laser tube need to operate at very high voltages. When those voltage levels combine with a water cooling system, the results can be lethal if something goes wrong.
The DC excitation process inherently limits the pulse rate of the laser tube. When a laser is recording, it does not heat continuously, but generates pulses as it moves through the material, heating many times per second. DC-excited laser tubes generate pulses less frequently, which significantly decreases the speed and quality of engraving.
The lifespan of the laser tubes excited by CC is also an issue that should consider. Glass is naturally more fragile than metal, therefore the risk of damage during shipping and installation is greater. The main concern associated with glass tubes is that the DC excitation process bombards the optics and electrodes of the tube with ions, which increases the chances of deterioration over time. Most glass tubes only guarante for six months. And when a glass laser tube fails outside that period, you should generally buy a new one, increasing costs and waste.
Metal laser tubes
The only disadvantage of metal laser tubes their high cost. However, this cost allows you to be calm in terms of performance, duration, safety and size.
The metal and ceramic CO2 laser tubes cool by air and the gas excite by alternating current of radio frequency (RF). The temperature properly regulate through fans integrated in the machines. This not only reduces the space used, but eliminates the need (and cost) to have additional equipment and limits the amount of items that require maintenance. In addition, it avoids the safety concerns of water cooling in conjunction with high voltages.
The RF excitation process generates faster laser pulses, resulting in higher engraving speed and more delicate product details. Metal pipes are also more durable than their glass counterparts.
Build machines with air-cooled metal and ceramic CO2 laser tubes to ensure that customers receive the highest performance systems possible. All our tubes back by a two-year warranty that minimizes discomfort in the strange case of a problem. If this happens, our metal laser tubes can often repaire instead of replaced.
With glass laser tubes, you can achieve a good quality laser cut for a low price. With the metal laser tubes you get the highest quality laser cutting and engraving, along with the confidence that the laser will last much longer, engrave faster and be much safer.
Each situation and budget is unique, and it is important to investigate which laser machine. And which laser tube are the best option for you and your company.