Lasers are used across various industries, and the advancement of technology in this area means lasers can perform a wide range of tasks. With an increase in optical power from a smaller package, the need for cooling technologies to prevent overheating and excess damage was borne.
Temperature variations can affect wavelength and output, meaning that temperature control is vital for areas where lasers are used and indeed for lasers themselves.
How to Cool Your Laser
The laser itself will determine the type of cooling required for your laser. Factors that will affect the type of cooling you need include;
- Laser wattage
- Resonator efficiency
- Resonator and optics temperature requirements
- Ambient temperature
The laser vendor can supply all this information. As such, they too could suggest sufficient cooling products or a laser chiller manufacturer suitable for use with your specific laser.
What Are Laser Chillers?
A laser chiller will be the main component of your laser purchase and is the most important part of your purchase. A laser chiller will manage the laser temperature to ensure high-quality performance and extend your laser’s life. The cost of a laser chiller should always be included with your purchase, especially if your laser doesn’t come with a chiller as part of the package.
Laser technology requires precision automation technology to ensure accuracy when used in the medical field, in a lab, in welding, and in manufacturing. Due to the power of the laser, temperatures can fluctuate during use. A laser chiller will provide a consistent cooling temperature to avoid the laser overheating and retain its accuracy. Efficient cooling is required for the optimal beam quality of the laser. The correct chiller will be beneficial in preventing downtime, reducing noise and heat, eliminating discrepancies, and decreasing interruptions.
What Laser Chillers Are Available?
The amount of waste heat that needs to be removed from the laser will determine the type of chiller you need. This is usually expressed in watts or BTU/hr.
Suppose your laser requires the resonator and optics operating temperature to be at or below ambient. Then vapor compression (VC) water chillers are typically used. Water chillers such as these can handle high heat loads and with the proper control system can hold process cooling at <+/-0.5°F.
Standard model chillers can use distilled or normal tap water as the coolant. Additives can be added to prevent algae growth or freezing, and corrosion. However, some lasers have coolant specifications, for example, requiring the use of deionized (DI) water. In this case, the chiller must-have components that are suitable for DI.
The pump is also an integral part of the chiller, as lasers have a cooling flow rate and cooling pressure to cool the laser when in use. Laser vendors will specify this rate, and many flow rates are available.
Choosing the Right Laser Chiller for Your Laser
Consulting with laser chiller professionals will allow you to gauge the right type of laser chiller for your needs. They can advise on the minimum specifications you need and the correct pump, along with additional features designed to help preserve the life span of your laser and maintain its accuracy.
The correct coolant will be beneficial in preventing downtime, reducing noise and heat, eliminating discrepancies, and decreasing interruptions.