The Laser source of Co2 laser has two kinds of types, one is Metal Co2 laser tube source, another is Glass Co2 laser source.
The metal laser source is sealed by the metal case, it is composed of high precision and high tech structure workmanship. So it has a high precision and high-performance laser processing, including laser engraving/marking/etching/carving, laser cutting etc. the Metal Co2 laser source also can be called RF(Radiation Frequency) Co2 laser source. The Metal Co2 laser source’s lifetime can be 20,000~30,000 hours. If you are not using it consistently, The laser machine with metal Co2 laser source can be used for 6~10 years long.
Then talking about the Glass Co2 laser source, the glass Co2 laser source is sealed by the glass case. The workmanship and precision are not so high as the metal co2 laser source. But it has the cost-effective advantage, its cost is much lower than the metal Co2 laser source. The glass co2 laser source also called glass co2 laser tube, its lifetime range is around 4,000~8,000 hours. The 30W~60W Glass tube Co2 laser source is about 4,000~6,000 hours; The 100W~150W Glass tube Co2 laser source is about 7,000~8,000 hours.
At last, let’s get understand what kind co2 laser source using air cooling, what kind of co2 laser source using water cooling. Then what factors decide a co2 laser machine using an air cooling system or a water cooling system? There are three factors, 1) the co2 laser tube’s power, the 30W, 60W mostly are air cooled. 100W~150W are mostly water cooled. 2) the co2 laser tube manufacturer’s configuration, nearly most kinds of wattage co2 laser tube can be either equipped with an air cooling system or a water cooling system. 3) According to customer’s requirements, If customer using the laser machine for consistent laser marking/engraving/cutting, a water cooled system equipped is necessary; If customer using the laser machine for laser marking/engraving/cutting some customized items/gifts or for personal home use, an air-cooled system co2 laser machine is OK to do it. The laser machine with an air-cooled system is also cheaper than the laser machine with water cooling system.
But for wattage above 100W co2 laser source, it is better recommended to equipped with a water cooled system.
So, there is all about it, Hope our Mactron’s FAQ article is helpful for you. Thank you for your time.