Reprinted from MAN-Modern Applications News February 1997
Copyright ©1997 Nelson Publishing
Whether a high-powered CO2 laser is used for cutting or welding, it makes good sense to protect expensive optics against metal spatters and other contaminating materials that may be generated during operation. A build-up on exposed optics tends to create a “snowball” effect: the more damage to the lens, the more optical distortion. This leads to more power dissipated in the lens, which means less power available to actually do the job. Excess power dissipation in the lens leads to more distortion, and the vicious circle continues.
Although contamination can’t be avoided entirely, the effects on expensive optics can be controlled by using a protective shield, the Lens Saver®. This lens protector is available at a fraction of the cost of the main lens system, and can be adapted to the optics of nearly every major laser system with negligible loss of power transmission. When the protector becomes contaminated or damaged, it can be replaced quickly and easily with minimal downtime and expense.