A spark of inspiration
An invisible beam cuts through a metal rod as if it were only butter. Sparks fly and seconds later a piece of the rod falls to the ground. The magical beam originates from a glass tube inside a laser-cutting machine. Therein, excited particles in a gain medium, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) gas, emit photons that are reflected back and forth by mirrors. One of the mirrors is semi-transparent, and the particles eventually escape as a high-energy beam that can travel almost indefinitely. But the beam of light can also be put to great use in manufacturing. If it is focused into a tight spot, the beam can even vaporize solid steel. The aforementioned glass tube is also called a ’resonator.’ It is the source of the laser and a central component of every laser-cutting machine. It is also the specialty product from the China-based company RECI. ”We are focused on the production, research and development, and sale of CO2 lasers. Today, we are the largest producer of CO2 lasers in the world,” says RECI’s general manager, Lu Chundi. CO2 lasers have particularly high efficiency and are regularly used in industry for cutting and welding. ”RECI’s CO2 lasers are mainly used for non-metal cutting and carving in leather and other fabrics,” explains Chundi. And although these applications do not require the same beam intensity as in cutting metal, all components must be of the highest quality.