Choosing Between Two Common Kinds of Carbon Dioxide Laser Tubes

Modern laser engraving and cutting machines often provide an impressive level of service at extremely affordable prices. As a result, many more businesses are looking into buying their own and find themselves researching the various considerations as a way of preparing.

While most laser engravers and the like contain plenty of extremely advanced technology, even understanding the very basics can make a real difference. As a recent update by Boss on Twitter makes clear, for example, the distinction between two general types of carbon dioxide laser tubes often ends up being very important.

Putting Energy Into a Gain Medium and Encouraging the Emission of Light

All lasers work according to the same general principle, but there are many particular ways of achieving this distinctive effect. While every type of laser functions by directing energy into a carefully selected and tuned medium, the nature of that material can include:

  • Solid-state: Various crystals and even gems can convert suitable forms of energy into the highly coherent light that characterizes laser emissions.
  • Semiconductor: Specially designed semiconducting elements can also be turned to this important purpose.
  • Liquids: Certain lasers function by directing energy into strategically dyed volumes of carefully selected liquids.
  • Gas: Some of the most common and versatile lasers of all work by energetically exciting gases like carbon dioxide.

Two Common Types of Carbon Dioxide Based Laser Tubes

Many laser engravers today include tubes that are filled with carbon dioxide, a gas whose physical properties make it an excellent candidate for the job. That is only part of the story, however, as there are also at least two common ways of exciting that gas and causing it to emit highly energetic light.

On the low end of the price scale, most carbon dioxide laser tubes use simple, direct electric current for this purpose. This straightforward approach combines cost effectiveness with an impressive quality of output at the scales most typically sought out for engraving purposes.

The usual alternative is a laser tube that makes use of radio frequency (RF) energy, instead. While tubes of this design can cost many times what those based on direct current normally do, they will often last several times longer, as well. RF-based laser tubes can also produce even finer details, making them the obvious choice for certain applications.

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