Thunder Laser Cooling, Temperature, & Freeze Mitigation

Thunder Laser Cooling, Temperature, & Freeze Mitigation

Thunder Laser Cooling, Temperature, & Freeze Mitigation v1.0a

 

PLEASE REFER TO THE Nova Series Users Manual

 FOR SAFETY AND TECHNICAL INFORMATION.


Always observe best practices for safety and be sure all systems are de-energized before performing any maintenance, adjustment, diagnostics, etc...




Introduction

This document covers some special considerations, warnings, and best practices to ensure your laser operates in an environment where continued performance and reliability are maximized.


Equipment Environment


As a general rule, your laser likes the same environment that you do. According to the Nova Series Unified Users Manual:


  1. Avoid locations with poor air circulation; select a location close to ventilation (if available). Select a location, whose room temperature is between 15 °C and 25 °C (59° – 77° F).

  2. This is fundamental to maintain consistent and reliable operation of a CO2 laser, Metal RF or Glass tube, and the machine itself. Avoid higher ambient temperatures and strong exposure of the engraver to the sun. Use blinds, if required.

  3. Mechanical shock and vibration of the laser will have detrimental effects on the performance and life expectancy of the machine. It will manifest (over a period of time) with a noticeable decrease in performance and increased maintenance required, possibly even damage. 


Setting your Thunder Laser up in a suitable temperature-controlled, dust-free, moisture-free, level, stable surface (a level concrete floor) with the recommended extraction is critical to the ongoing performance of the machine. It is also a warranty condition.


Laser Sources

We use a few different laser sources in our machines. Here are the 3 basic technologies.

Air-cooled CO2 Sources

All of our Odin Series machines come equipped with an RF excited Air-cooled metal/ceramic tube. These air-cooled tubes are also available in some Nova series machines by special order as well. 


More on RF Excited CO2 Laser Sources HERE.



Water-cooled CO2 Sources


All of our Nova Series machines come standard with a DC excited water-cooled glass tube. RF air-cooled tubes are available in some Nova series machines by special order as well. 


More on DC Excited CO2 Laser Sources HERE.  



Air-cooled Fiber Sources

The Aurora series galvo sources are air-cooled and coupled to the galvo via fiber optics.



Water-cooled Systems

On our water-cooled tubes, we offer 3 different S&A chillers, depending on the tube wattage.


CW-3000

The CW-3000 is a passive radiator and is shipped with the Mini 60. The ambient temperature in the room is a bigger factor for this 'chiller' than that of the 5000 series chillers. The system temp cannot go lower than the ambient room temperature so the 3000 series likes to be in a cool environment.


Here is more on the 3000 series units: S&A CW-3000 Passive Chiller User Manual


CW-5000/5200

The CW-3000 is a passive radiator and is shipped with the Mini 60. The ambient temperature in the room is a bigger factor for this 'chiller' than that of the 5000 series chillers. The system temp cannot go lower than the ambient room temperature so the 3000 series likes to be in a cool environment. 


All 3 of the above systems are subject to damage if the water in the chiller, tube, and/or associated plumbing, fixtures, and peripherals were to freeze. See more on how to handle freezing below.


Air-cooled Systems 

 On air-cooled tubes, fans are blown across the heat-sinks of the tube. The system temp cannot go lower than the ambient room temperature.


Mitigating Extreme Temperatures

Here is more information on combating extreme temperatures.


Freeze Prevention

There are 4 basic ways to help protect your water-cooled cooling system from freezing.


Heating the workspace

keeping the workspace above freezing is desirable. Some use small space heaters when necessary.


Draining coolant after use

You can also drain the coolant system when not in use. Use the drain port on the back of the chiller and then disconnect the tubing to evacuate as much coolant as possible


Using Antifreeze

We use pure distilled water in DC excited glass water-cooled tubes because it has a conductivity low enough to occupy the tube while 30,000 volts arcs through the tube. Additives can affect that conductivity and can damage the cooling system components, especially with long-term use.


We do have recommendations on the use of antifreeze here: Thunder Laser Approved Antifreeze

And there is more technical data on a variety of additives here: Laser Water Coolants & Additives


Relocating the machine

In order for your laser cutting machine to function properly, not only in winter but all year round, make sure it is stored in the correct environment. The room temperature should be between 15°C and 25°C with humidity between 40% and 70% and not in direct sunlight.


Hot/humid conditions

More on humidity coming soon


Cooling the workspace

keeping the workspace below  27c is desirable. Some use portable or split units.


Relocating the machine

In order for your laser cutting machine to function properly, not only in winter but all year round, make sure it is stored in the correct environment. The room temperature should be between 15°C and 25°C with humidity between 40% and 70% and not in direct sunlight.


SPT Tube Recommendations https://www.sptlaser.net/newsdetail/37






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