Also commonly known as gas laser which was invented by Kumar Patel of Bell Labs in 1964, Co2 laser is produced by utilizing the reaction of a combination of gases inside an enclosed tube under vacuum.
There are two types of tubes; RF lasers and glass tube lasers. The latter is often regarded as inferior to the former but wait until you read the facts.
Ranging from 1/5 to 1/20 of the RF laser’s price, glass tube laser main advantage is its price some lasers possess a 5,000 or 10,000 hours of usage ratings which means that you possibly can run your laser for 8 hours per day for 625 days consecutively on one within the 5,000 hour tubes. They are also built to be maintained and replaced by the user, not a technician saving you from high maintenance cost.
Glass laser tubes are also built to last and they have been widely used throughout Europe and Asia for the past 4 decades. Because of RF laser’s complexity such as requirement of RF generator and a technician or installer, simplicity is the foremost selling point of the glass tube considering the DC power supplies that power them.
Shape of the beam is also an important factor to consider. Due to the round tube the gases are held in, glass tube naturally produces round laser beam. RF tubes, on the other hand, are either square or rectangular and produces an oval beam thanks to their special optics. If you are doing marquetry, puzzles or architectural models, a perfectly round beam is not a requirement as you desire for the cuts going from the front to back of the table to be the same width (kerf) as the ones going right to left.
There would be times when sustaining a continuous beam is better than a beam that pulses on and off making CO2 laser glass tubes perfect cutting partner. They will let you cut Acrylic without worrying of having to flame polish the edges.
RF tubes steal the spotlight from glass tubes when it comes to engraving due to the pulse technology as well as the shadings of photographs. However, this advantage is short lived simply because there are photo software applications that can convert an image into bitmap that optimizes the photo for engraving and turns it into a number of dots that make the laser switch on and off when engraving the photograph producing amazing results
Another great thing about glass tubes is that they can be water-cooled. This is very important especially when you need your system to operate for lengthy amounts of time, in a room where the room temperature is beyond 75 degrees or varies significantly and where highly consistent results are critical. Water Cooling enables the laser tube to become kept at a steady temperature which yields consistent power as a result.
Air-cooled tubes, on the other hand, are dependent on ambient temperature which makes them inconvenient for lengthy usage.
Glass tube lasers can offer years of service without hurting your wallat. Investing in CO2 laser glass tubes easily gives you over competitors who are fan of RF technology.