RECI uses highly stable DURAN® borosilicate glass tubes in its lasers (center and right photo). They ensure a precise optical path and make it possible to meet the high quality demands the global market places on CO2 lasers, explains Lu Chundi, General Manager of RECI (left). Photos: SCHOTT/F. Fischer
One attribute of the glass tubes that make up the resonators chamber is particularly important: its straightness. ”A laser beam represents a perfectly straight line. To avoid interference, the container it is traveling through must also be as straight as possible,” explains Henry Chen, Sales Account Manager with SCHOTT in Shanghai. The problem is, the longer the glass tube, the greater its curvature. Standard resonator tubes have a length of one and a half meters. ”So, although the deviation from a straight line is only on the scale of a few single millimeters, it can lead to malfunctioning of the machines if not handled correctly in tubes of this size,” adds Chen.
This is precisely why SCHOTT’s DURAN® tubes remain the first choice for RECI. ”Their quality is good and reliable, and the tight tolerances we require remain stable over time,” says RECI’s General Manager, Chundi. And this preference for SCHOTT tubes remains true although there are several cheaper competitors on the Chinese market: ”Despite the price per kilogram for DURAN® being higher than local Chinese tubing, the total costs for producing the glass laser tubes are lower with our products,” explains Chen. This is because local products make it necessary to rework the straightness of the tubing in a very extensive and, thus, cost-intensive way.
”SCHOTT enables us to produce a laser tube that fulfills the high quality requirements of the global market. And because of this, we are one of the most important suppliers in the industry,” says Chundi. To strengthen their market advantage, RECI recently commenced with production of its third generation of lasers. It has several advantages compared to previous models: ”fewer defects, higher stability and a longer lifetime,” summarizes Chundi. This and other developments in the laser industry paint a very promising picture of the future. SCHOTT’s Sales Account Manager, Henry Chen, also agrees: ”Lasers have come a long way and are constantly improving. SCHOTT will always be a part of this development, and we hope to contribute with our own innovations along the way.” <
Special glass tubing for further applications
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