Lasertube lifespan

Machine: Redsail M900 RedSail M900 Laserboard conversion
Board: C3D Laserboard
Firmware: Smoothie

Problem/ Question:

Hi all,

It’s a long time since i started my very old M900 to Laserboard conversion. I think its working how it should be right now.

It does’nt cut that well, it only engraves. The tube should be a 60w but i think it’s around 10y old. Can those tubes less powerfull in years even when not used? Got a sparetube with it, but don’t know how old that one is.


I think this link will answer your question.

Basically " All glass CO2 laser tubes degrade over time with lifespans ranging from as little as 3 months to 3 years. Basically, the CO2 inside the tube breaks down into Carbon Monoxide and Oxygen with use. If you overdrive the tube, it just accelerates this process and reduces the working life."

If you have an “unused” tube that has been sitting on the shelf it still should be good as no gas break down would have occurred. On the other hand some gas may have escaped.

Also found this link discussion about a used Co2 system just sitting around not being used degrading.

Of course it might be some Smoothie board laser power configuration problem.

I did some extra tuning of the lens. The fired my laser up and i think the tube is still fine fot now.

Just ordered some ventilationpipes and a big motor to get the smoke out.

On one hand you say 3 months to 3 years life, then put a link to a 2011 tube working fine in 2017

What’s YOUR experience of tube life?

Cheap tubes are sealed using gum Arabic and other lesser organics. They leak, slowly. That’s why the old wives tale about ‘shelf life’ is still with us.

Use name-brand tubes and you have no issues. SPT, EFR, Reci all have good mechanical seals that prevent loss of or dilution of the magic mix.

I took an 8 year old Reci W4 out of its box, installed it, ran a power test and it was fine. The customer is still using it, 4 years on, and it’s within spec.

Buy cheap, get cheap results

The key to your conundrum is ‘Redsail’

They are a terrible manufacturer and put in the cheapest components they can get to function .

Buy an equivalent sized SPT or EFR and it will be fine

I think I’m better tryout on this tube and then buy another one.

What about cloudray tubes?

Hi Bo,
I guess I was not clear.
I just quoted a section of what was in the first link I supplied from that got highlighted on the forum in its own box… That first article stated 3 months to 3 years shelf life and was what I had put in bold and put in quotes…
The second link I supplied which only showed up as a link stated they had put in a spare tube they had gotten in 2011 into a system in 2017 and it worked fine.
You are correct in that the articles seem to contradict each other.

My only Experience on tube life is the FLS 5th generation we have at work that was purchased back in 2014. That system had limited use for 2 years but after conversion to a Cohesion3D Laserboard the tube still seems to be strong 6 years later even with a 4 year break of non-use. It still engraves and cuts with only a 45 watt laser. The original poster had a 60 watt laser that would only engrave and wondered about age degradation and if his spare tube would work.

I would agree that “buy cheap, get cheap” and that tube manufactures will vary in construction. It might be his spare tube will work just fine depending on how it was manufactured or it might not be any better than the tube already in his system
As you already pointed out “Redsail” is the Red flag here.

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