100 watt CO2 laser tube

A Brief Introduction to CO2 Lasers

CO2 laser cutters and engravers are the most inexpensive and commonly available entry-level laser machines. They are designed to be long-lasting and durable, but they do require some basic maintenance to keep them running efficiently and effectively. Replacing laser tubes is just part of this maintenance, but it is an essential part. Read on to find out more about these essential components and how they work.

Production of the Laser Beam

A laser tube is composed of a gas-filled compartment with mirrors at each end, one of which is fully reflective while the other allows some light through. The gas used in these tubes is generally a mix of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, and helium. When the nitrogen molecules are stimulated by an electrical current, it allows them to gain energy that can then be held in an excited state and eventually discharged in the form of light. Light is only released when the nitrogen molecules begin to excite the carbon dioxide molecules, creating a state of population inversion in which there are more excited molecules than non-excited ones.

Discharge of Light

In order to produce its beam of infrared light, the nitrogen and carbon dioxide molecules must release their excited state in the form of photos. This occurs when the nitrogen atoms come into contact with the helium atoms, which are extremely cold and cause the nitrogen molecules to release light. This light is extremely powerful, thanks primarily to the reflective qualities of the two mirrors. Once it becomes sufficiently intense, the light will become bright enough to pass through the partially-reflective mirror on the side of the tube.

Determining Power

The light produced by CO2 lasers is powerful enough to process most organic materials, including cloth, wood, and paper. More powerful CO2 lasers can also be used in an industrial setting for machining steel and other non-reflective metals. These larger machines often operate on more than 1,000 watts.

Most hobbyists and small business owners find that a 150 watt laser tube is sufficient to meet all of their power requirements, and these smaller tubes come at a much lower price. Consumers can find the lowest laser tube price online when they need to replace these tubes.

Learn More Today

Need to find the right CO2 laser tube for a particular application? It can never hurt to ask a professional. Laser machine owners can find more information online or get in touch with the customer service department for additional information.