Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: laser tube life

  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    23
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default laser tube life

    I have about 1500-2000 hours on my synrad firestar 60, yesterday I turned it on and started a vector file and noticed a light coming from the end of the nozzle! Not the light created by cutting but a little spot of light, the power level was down to I turned it up to cut the material and for about 2 minutes the beam was still there, then it disappeared and I had to turn power down. Is this the first signs of tube life failure? What is the life of a laser tube? Thanks for any information.
    Jack

    Similar Threads:


  2. #2
    Registered MacGyver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    240
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    It could be as simple as a loose mirror. Are you saying the beam was restored to normal operation after using it at the higher power for two minutes?

    BTW, it's a bad idea to crank up the power when something goes wrong... if your car's engine started to show signs of strain would you stomp on the gas and hope the problem goes away, or would you pull over and have it towed in for analysis before permanent damage is done?

    Hi-TecDesigns.com -- Automotive Lighting Systems


  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    23
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MacGyver View Post
    It could be as simple as a loose mirror. Are you saying the beam was restored to normal operation after using it at the higher power for two minutes?

    BTW, it's a bad idea to crank up the power when something goes wrong... if your car's engine started to show signs of strain would you stomp on the gas and hope the problem goes away, or would you pull over and have it towed in for analysis before permanent damage is done?
    Yes, worked perfect after a couple minutes, I will fire it off this morning to see how it works and put a pwr meter on it. I checked the mirrors and all is tight. Do you have any idea of laser tube life?



  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    78
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by largohome View Post
    Do you have any idea of laser tube life?
    On mine the manufacturer advertised 11,000 hours. My first tube died at just 500 hours while on warranty, the second lasted about 2,000 before dying a couple of months after the warranty expired. (Epilog laser, Synrad tube)



  5. #5
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    23
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    Thanks, I got that feeling that its on its way out. What were the symthoms when they failed? Now the bad question, how much was it to replace?



  6. #6
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Laser Tube Life

    Hi, just wanted to answer your laser tube life question. I have been in the Sealed CO2 Laser business for 25 years and have had a chance to experience many things. Sealed C02 lasers have a mixture of gases in them rather than just C02 as one might think. The purity of these gases and the mix ratios will effect beam quality, power and life. If poor manufacturing practices are used contaminants inside the laser resonator can outgas and degrade the tube performance. Based on how the laser is used can also impact life expectancy. If a tube is run hard and hot it is likely that cathode degredation will occur and this too can lead to low power and mirror damage. Over time the gases in the mixture used will begin to seperate. Usually if you are monitoring power you will see a slow decline in output power. You should not see a sudden stop like a car running out of gas. Sometimes you will see a quick reduction in power over a matter of hours, then when you come back in the morning everything seems fine but again the reduction in power occurs. This is a definete sign you need to regas your laser. Gas mixtures from companies like Airgas are only guaranteed for two years, after that the experts say the gases will begin to seperate and you cannot expect great performance. For our customers who run 24/7 we recomend an annual recharge. Those who opt for this service have very few if any problems. Think of it like changing the oil in your car. The bright light you mentioned sounded like a scattered reflection in your cutting nozzle. If you get reflections traveling back into the laser you will likely be baffled at what happens. First you may see a tremendous boost in cutting capability then you can hardly cut at all. Its not consistent or predictable. What is occuring is the reflected energy is creating constructive and destructive interference in the laser resonator, hence the amplification and cancellation of power. If you have questions you can email me at colin@nlclaser.com. Also check out our website at nlclaser.com



  7. #7
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    78
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by largohome View Post
    Thanks, I got that feeling that its on its way out. What were the symthoms when they failed? Now the bad question, how much was it to replace?
    The one I paid for was $2,300, but since the price has been reduced to $1,100.

    Epilog doesn't do recharging, they only sell a replacement.

    The symptoms were different each time. The first failure was electronics on the proprietary board attached to the tube. Instead of cutting a solid line, it was like a dotted line of randomly varying length, in other words firing sporadically.

    The next time the power just dropped, over a few days. Eventually engraving would be fine at x0,y12 (closest to the tube) but nothing at x24,y0. In between was barely marked. Cutting, it took 3 passes to do 1/16". Turned out it had only 10 watts (45 watt tube).



  8. #8
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    usa
    Posts
    23
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by colinjsnook View Post
    Hi, just wanted to answer your laser tube life question. I have been in the Sealed CO2 Laser business for 25 years and have had a chance to experience many things. Sealed C02 lasers have a mixture of gases in them rather than just C02 as one might think. The purity of these gases and the mix ratios will effect beam quality, power and life. If poor manufacturing practices are used contaminants inside the laser resonator can outgas and degrade the tube performance. Based on how the laser is used can also impact life expectancy. If a tube is run hard and hot it is likely that cathode degredation will occur and this too can lead to low power and mirror damage. Over time the gases in the mixture used will begin to seperate. Usually if you are monitoring power you will see a slow decline in output power. You should not see a sudden stop like a car running out of gas. Sometimes you will see a quick reduction in power over a matter of hours, then when you come back in the morning everything seems fine but again the reduction in power occurs. This is a definete sign you need to regas your laser. Gas mixtures from companies like Airgas are only guaranteed for two years, after that the experts say the gases will begin to seperate and you cannot expect great performance. For our customers who run 24/7 we recomend an annual recharge. Those who opt for this service have very few if any problems. Think of it like changing the oil in your car. The bright light you mentioned sounded like a scattered reflection in your cutting nozzle. If you get reflections traveling back into the laser you will likely be baffled at what happens. First you may see a tremendous boost in cutting capability then you can hardly cut at all. Its not consistent or predictable. What is occuring is the reflected energy is creating constructive and destructive interference in the laser resonator, hence the amplification and cancellation of power. If you have questions you can email me at colin@nlclaser.com. Also check out our website at nlclaser.com
    Thank you all for your help, I am certain my laser is decreasing in power as I have done a few projects and must increase the power to a level twice what is normal. When I engrave on stone I engrave at 2.5-3.5% power on my 60 watt synrad, the last two projects took 8% to get the crystal fracture I was looking for. Colin does your company service all laser tubes?



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


About CNCzone.com

    We are the largest and most active discussion forum from DIY CNC Machines to the Cad/Cam software to run them. The site is 100% free to join and use, so join today!

Follow us on

Facebook Dribbble RSS Feed