A Basic Introduction to Laser Tubes

By | September 13, 2017

In 1917 Albert Einstein predicted the technology that would eventually be used to transform light into power for precision tools. By 1960 a laboratory created a prototype device that used the principle to operate military range finders. Known as laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), the technology is now used in everything from medical research to home businesses. All laser devices include tubes that emit powerful beams, but tube types can differ.

How a Laser Tube Works

Although the basic science behind lasers is the same for high-tech industries and small businesses, equipment choices can vary. For example, a company producing precision-tooled acrylic, wood or aluminum products might use 100 watt tubes. When a local engraving shop needs a co2 laser tube 40 watt products often provide the best options. Regardless of type or power, each tube effectively cuts and engraves. They all work by emitting powerful beams of light, but use different technologies, to do it. Tubes are divided into two types,

Comparing DC and RF Tubes

DC, or direct current lasers, are typically made from glass tubes containing xenon, hydrogen, helium, nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Energy sent through tubes excites the gases, resulting in a direct charge. It becomes a beam which bounces back and forth, ultimately turning into a powerful beam that can cut or engrave a range of materials. In contrast, radio frequency, or RF, technology uses metal tubes. They emit powerful pulsed light with very quick repeatability. When choosing a technology, users typically consider the following facts:

  • Each type produces quality cuts but RF can leave rough edges. However, the effect is hardly noticeable on most materials.
  • RF lasers are generally better for fine engraving. They are often used for high-precision projects.
  • DC lasers generally cost less than RF but do not last as long. An RF tube can often be used 4-5 times longer.
  • The technologies are equally powerful.

Laser, or amplified light technology, is now part of devices used for hundreds of purposes. All devices work on essentially the same principle but some us RF tubes while others depend on DC. Laser tubes also range in power, so it is easy for users to find products that fit their needs.