Low temperatures in winter will cause certain damage to you laser equipment. If used improperly, it may cause serious damage to the core components of the laser equipment that cannot be repaired!
So let’s talk about at how your Co2 laser should be prepared for antifreeze treatment during winter.
The carbon dioxide laser tube is water-cooled, and it is best to keep the temperature around 25 degrees C, because the laser energy is the strongest around this temperature.
In fact, it is very important to prevent freezing in winter and high temperature in summer. In winter, when the laser tube is not being used, and the water in the tube is not emptied out, the cooling layer of the laser tube will freeze and expand, resulting in the laser cooling layer bursting and no longer repairable. The freezing and cracking of the laser tube cooling layer in winter is not within the scope of warranty replacement. Therefore in order to avoid unnecessary losses, ensure you prepare you Co2 laser correctly for the weather change.
If you do not plan to use your Co2 Laser over winter, drain the water from the Co2 laser tube, and use auxiliary equipment such as an air pump or an air compressor to clean the water in the laser tube. Customers who use chillers or pumps, should remove the chillers or pumps and place them in a high-temperature room to prevent freezing of the water circulation equipment, that may cause damage to the chillers, pumps and other parts.
In my conversations with my sources, the topic of the use of antifreeze was not a consensus, however the majority of advise I received was that Antifreeze is suitable, just make sure you choose a suitable type, i.e a Non-Corrosive / RV Antifreeze.
If you plan to use your Co2 laser during winter, then you may add antifreeze, it is important that you do not add excessive antifreeze to the laser tube, as the cooling layer of the tube will affect the quality of the light. For laser tubes, the higher the frequency, the more frequent the water change frequency. Otherwise, impurities such as calcium and magnesium in the pure water will adhere to the inner wall of the laser tube and affect the laser energy. Therefore, the most important thing is to change the water frequently and clean the water when not in use.
The recommendation I received from S&A Chillers on the topic of antifreeze was “it is recommended to use a low corrosion antifreeze with ethylene glycol as the main component, do not use 100% antifreeze, use it on a ratio of 1:3 (25% antifreeze, 75% water)“
SPT-Laser recommend “In cold weather, you can mix the antifreeze with water into the chiller to protect the laser tube from freezing. When cold weather gone, Please drop the antifreeze water out and clean the cooling system. Use purified water when it’s warm.“
Many Co2 laser users from cold climates have recommended using RV Antifreeze (propylene glycol), similar to this product https://amzn.to/3eKaYrh . This is a different chemical composition to what was recommended earlier by S&A Chillers, however after doing my research on this topic, I also would recommend RV antifreeze. Another tip I read that may help is leaving the chiller running 24 hours a day through winter to help prevent water from freezing, however this is not a guarantee.
Another method of preventing the cooling water from freezing during winter is to use an additional water reservoir with an aquarium heater to keep the water warm and continuously circulating at around 20-25 degrees C.
Although antifreeze is not necessary in warmer climates like here in Australia, if necessary it can be used with you Co2 Laser. It is generally composed of alcohol and water. It requires high boiling point and flash point, high specific heat and conductivity, low low temperature viscosity, it does not easily foam, and does not corrode metal parts, rubber hoses, etc. Adding it to the water tank of the chiller that is matched with the laser equipment can prevent the cooling water from freezing, so that the chiller can start and operate normally in the cold winter.
Cheers Matt – https://www.youtube.com/mwlaser
The sources of Information for this topic was provided by MW Laser, in communication with HM Laser, S&A Chillers & SPT Laser, Cloudray Laser