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John Finnegan
09-27-2015, 11:42 AM
A quick question for the group.

My current 100W CO2 tube has served me well, but is slowly losing power. What used to cut well at 10 speed now requires 6 speed and has some char on the edges (I cut 1/4" birch ply).

When I purchased the laser originally, I bought an extra 'emergency' tube and placed it in climate controlled storage. This was 2.5 years ago.

I understand that there is the potential for the gasses to leak in storage, but will the leakage be at the same rate as the tube that has been in active use?

Thanks,
John

David Somers
09-27-2015, 4:02 PM
John,

I think that leakage varies from tube to tube. One RECI tube may leak quickly, another may hold its gas for an age. Depends on all the little variables in its manufacture.

All you can do is give it a try and see.

I believe that is one reason why many folks often dont keep a spare tube on hand unless they really need it. Keep in mind that tubes like RECI are pretty common and can be shipped to you pretty quickly.

Dave

Clark Pace
09-27-2015, 5:28 PM
A quick question for the group.

My current 100W CO2 tube has served me well, but is slowly losing power. What used to cut well at 10 speed now requires 6 speed and has some char on the edges (I cut 1/4" birch ply).

When I purchased the laser originally, I bought an extra 'emergency' tube and placed it in climate controlled storage. This was 2.5 years ago.

I understand that there is the potential for the gasses to leak in storage, but will the leakage be at the same rate as the tube that has been in active use?

Thanks,
John

I have heard that keeping it in a dark place is the best to increase storage life. My backup tube was in storage a few years before I used it and it works pretty good. Also, I always keep a backup tube just in case.

Dave Sheldrake
09-27-2015, 7:16 PM
It's oxidation of the internal electrodes that contaminates tubes in storage (tubes do contain very small amounts of oxygen among other gasses) Gas leaking has been shown to happen but it's not the primary cause of tube failure

David Somers
09-27-2015, 9:31 PM
So Dave.....is there a rough guess you can make for the storage life of a tube? Or is it highly variable?

Dave Sheldrake
09-27-2015, 10:05 PM
Wouldn't like to guess to be honest, I've seen stored tubes DOA, I've seen 2 year old tubes fire up fine, the mechanics of failure seems to be so variable it's not something I'd like to put a figure on.

I'm an advocate of buy when you need, most DC pipes give you a bit of warning when they reach end of life (a few days, maybe a week or so) and my UK supplier will have a tube to me before that without trouble. Sure it won't help if you crack one or forget to switch the chiller on but with most of my tubes (DC) being between 2,000 and 5,000 each I don't want to many of them kicking round and going bad ;)

David Somers
09-27-2015, 10:21 PM
Thanks Dave! Appreciate the clarification. Highly variable life span for a stored unit and the better strategy being to order when they fail rather than storing them.

Dave

Dan Hintz
09-28-2015, 7:22 AM
Wouldn't like to guess to be honest, I've seen stored tubes DOA, I've seen 2 year old tubes fire up fine, the mechanics of failure seems to be so variable it's not something I'd like to put a figure on.

I've always wondered the quality (purity?) of the mixture the Chinese use in their cheaper tubes, i.e., what's the variability of the mix compared to, say, a lab-grade mix.

Dave Sheldrake
09-28-2015, 10:39 AM
I've always wondered the quality (purity?) of the mixture the Chinese use in their cheaper tubes, i.e., what's the variability of the mix compared to, say, a lab-grade mix.

Given the facilities used over there I'd suggest the mix ratios are a bit *off* on occasion ;) EFR especially and RECI seem to be really good but some of the YongLi etc stuff seems truly dire,seems to de down to the purging before filling that most of the problems arise. RECI and EFR use German ,high quality glass but some of the cheap tubes seem to be made from recycled beer bottles :)

John Finnegan
09-29-2015, 11:37 PM
Thanks for all your comments, everyone.
This thread has been very helpful to me.
I guess I'll just have to fire her up and see what happens.