Glass vs Metal CO2 Laser Tubes,What’s The Difference?

With the wide recognition of laser technology in the everyday processes and production industries today, there’s no doubt that laser systems have become an essential part of our work processes. However, what is equally important in these laser technologies is the presence of the components and the ideal system setup for the laser engraving or marking tasks.

There are numerous laser machines available in the market today. However, when you’re up for investing in one laser technology and use it for personal or professional work, it’s important to ensure that the whole system setup is managed ideally whether it’s the mirror setup or the laser tubs that are used as the main source of laser in these systems, all matter a lot.

Considering that, when we talk about investing in the ideal laser technology, there are a few aspects of laser machine’s that should be chosen wisely. For instance, if you have a CO2 laser machine, it’s important to understand the different types of CO2 systems and the types of laser tubes that can be used in these systems accordingly. Besides, when you’re investing in laser technology, it has to serve in the best way, right?

So if you’re new to exploring and purchasing the ideal laser tube for your CO2 laser machine, we’re here to help you explore the two major types of laser tubes you can consider in more detail, i.e. metal laser tube, glass laser tube. So let’s go ahead and explore them, shall we?

Types of Laser Tubes: Their Advantages and Disadvantages  

Glass Laser Tube:

The Benefits:

  • Let’s start with the most common type of laser tube used in the laser technologies designed and manufactured by manufacturers nowadays, i.e., the glass laser tube. This laser tube is an ideal option because it is designed as a water-cooled glass tube that is certainly an enticing option – whether in terms of the outlook or usage.
  • Moreover, the lower cost of these laser tubes also makes them more reliable and accessible for many.
  • It’s not just the lower cost of glass tubes that cost you less, but also the inexpensive process of producing laser with this tube. Simply put, these tubes allow laser production by exciting the gas through DC (Direct Current), which makes the entire process less expensive.
  • Another benefit is that these tubes produce a better quality beam that serves ideally for laser cutting and marking processes on various products.

The Drawbacks:

  • Just like any other technical product or component of machinery, the glass laser tube also has a number of drawbacks that differentiate its performance from the metal laser tube. These drawbacks include:
  • The need for water-cooling almost all the glass tubes since glass is a poor thermal conductor. It means that the process of hat removal can only be performed accurately when water is circulated from a glass laser tube. While this isn’t much of a problem, the lack of a water-cooling system may cause the glass tube to get overheated and become inoperable for further usage in the laser engraving or marking process. So while the investment in the glass laser tube itself and its performance is cheap, you may have to invest more in its cooling system.
  • Another possible disadvantage of having a glass laser tube is the disadvantage that comes along with the need for a water-cooling system. Since the laser-produced in these tubes comes from the excited gas of the DC, this DC power supply requires very high voltage for operation in this manner. As a result, the combination of such a high level of voltage with a water cooling system may result in lethal effects most of the time.
  • Another important factor and disadvantage of using the glass laser tube is the performance of a laser during the engraving process. Since this laser doesn’t fire in a continuous burst, it instead serves in by pulsing while it moves across the material that is being engraved or marked. However, the firing process is performed multiple times in a second, whereas the DC-excited laser tube pulses in a less frequent quantity. As a result, you can expect better quality (not every time) but the slower performance of the laser process being occupied.

Metal CO2 Laser Tube:

Advantages:

  • Moving on to the metal laser tube or CO2 laser tube, this type of laser tube is a better and more reliable option for the CO2 laser systems. In fact, as compared to the glass laser tube, the metal laser tube offers more benefits and lesser disadvantages overall.
  • The working of these tubes of laser tubes is managed through an air-cooled system where the gas is excited through specific radio frequency alternating current machines (RF).
  • Moreover, the regulation of temperature in a proper way through a metal laser tube only requires the need for a fan. This fan system is built directly into the machine’s which makes the setup complete for usage and without the need for any extra expenses. So you don’t have to invest in any additional equipment or consistent maintenance of any component of the machine with the presence of a metal laser tube.
  • Another considerable benefit that comes along with the system of metal laser tubes is the water cooling and high voltage safety concerns that are excluded when you’re using a metal laser tube.
  • Additionally, the RF-excited process supported by the metal laser tube promotes rapid laser pulsing, offering a higher quality of speed and fine detailing of the engraving or marking process on any kind of item.
  • Not to mention, the durability and longer-lasting ability of the metal laser tubes is also a plus point as compared to the glass laser tube.

Disadvantages:

  • Coming to the disadvantages of the metal laser tube, the only drawback this laser tube system has is the price. While it offers better durability, fine detailing ability and safer performance for the CO2 laser systems, the metal laser tube may cost a lot more than the glass laser tube. However, this one-time investment surely keeps away the entire headache and struggles of using the laser system in present and future activities.

Conclusion:

While both the laser systems, i.e., metal laser tube and glass laser tube, have advantages and disadvantages to offer to the user, the decision of choosing one mainly depends on your budget and CO2 laser system configuration. So go ahead and make the ideal purchase!