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Old 01-20-2014, 11:52 PM #1
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Default (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

Since theres a good likelihood I'll be getting myself an Argon-Ion laser in the near-ish future, I was wondering about running a air-cooled one outdoors where the ambient temperature is between -15 to -10 Degrees C (During the winter. In the summer the nighttime temperature is usually 15 to 20 C). Would the colder air be beneficial to keeping the laser cool, or would it be so cold that it would impede the laser from lasing?

Same thing with a HeNe laser. I know most HeNe's don't need extra cooling, but its foggy a lot where I live and if I felt inclined to take a HeNe outside for some beamshots would the cold prevent it from lasing properly?

Much thanks!


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Old 01-21-2014, 12:16 AM #2
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

I once entertained the idea of running coolent lines through an intake. Maybe with cooler air the CFM could be lower. One thing I wasn't sure about would be condensation, my Argon Cylnderical JDSU sucks air in though the laser head and I wouldn't want anything to short out.

Good question hmm
I don't know if excessive moisture would be an issue.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:28 AM #3
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

Portable de-humidifier into the intake? Hmm maybe a air filter full of silica gel?
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:35 AM #4
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

You know why I abandoned this? I got a quite fan haha. I still think it's a good idea and sometime in the future I might finish this.
Do you have a certain argon in mind?
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:42 AM #5
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

Depending on when I get money I might try and buy the one CrazySpaz is selling.

FS: Multiline Argon!
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:00 AM #6
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

Oh I saw that when he posted it and It looks like it's in good shape. Id be curious to see what it actually does put out with an LPM. I know my ML40 puts out 150mW+ maybe that one does.
But back to the OP I just looked at some spec sheets for the one I have and it says non operational -30 to 60C

http://www.jdsu.com/ProductLiteratur...4_ds_cl_ae.pdf
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Old 01-22-2014, 05:20 AM #7
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

it needs moving air to stay cool. and the problem with moisture isn't really shorting things, as much as it is oxidizing various parts of the inside from the heat. that and if it was too cold, rapid change of temperature could break the tube or its bore.
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Old 01-22-2014, 04:44 PM #8
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

On the note of condensation, it should be noted that condensation only happens on a surface that is COLDER than the ambient air. Cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air, so when (relatively) warm air contacts a cold surface, the air can no longer hold its current moisture content and condenses on the cold surface.

As for running gas lasers outside it's not a big deal. Argons already have to cope with the plasma inside being surface of the sun hot, so winter temps will add some additional thermal stress, but it's not likely to cause any kind of damage. HeNes outside may not give as much output but otherwise they will not care.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:36 PM #9
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

Yes you are correct, in my post tho, I was talking about running coolent lines through the intake. Wouldn't ambient air condensate on the cool lines and produce water drops?
Blarg king, I'm sorry too I sorta thread jacked your post. I just saw we were talking about similar things and wanted to chat.
In your particular application mositure will not be a problem.

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On the note of condensation, it should be noted that condensation only happens on a surface that is COLDER than the ambient air. Cold air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air, so when (relatively) warm air contacts a cold surface, the air can no longer hold its current moisture content and condenses on the cold.
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Old 01-22-2014, 06:42 PM #10
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

What kind of coolant lines? Some kind of refrigerated setup? You would have to watch the dew point temperature. If the coolant goes below the dew point you will have condensation.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:01 PM #11
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

THis topic has me thinking about a interesting experiment...

What about using non-conductive liquid coolant?

Submerge the head in the coolant and then use a pump to circulate the coolant.... I would imagine it would be a *lot* more efficient at cooling... the question is, would the coolant breakdown and become conductive with a few thousand volts pushing through it...

I suppose you would have to find a way to keep the output end of the laser dry - maybe seal off a small area around the tube that wouldnt be exposed to the coolant.

hmmmm.....

Update - - Looks like transformer oil may work... ...

See this link for a submerged mineral oil cooled PC..
http://www.pugetsystems.com/mineral-oil-pc.php
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:56 PM #12
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

Hey that's cool Escher, do you think corrosion would be a problem? Maybe instead of submerging the whole laser you could circulate coolent through the parts of the head that produce the most heat. Also if you had liquid directly contacting the tube could the glass take the temperature shift? I don't know how that's tempered.

I was thinking of using ammonia, it's cheap and has a low viscosity. But I haven't done any experimenting so something would probably work just as well.

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Originally Posted by MarioMaster View Post
What kind of coolant lines? Some kind of refrigerated setup? You would have to watch the dew point temperature. If the coolant goes below the dew point you will have condensation.
Edit: I have a LARGE dinosaur AC unit I could tap into the copper tubing. I think they use freon if I'm not mistaken tho.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:49 PM #13
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

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I was thinking of using ammonia
Uh... ammonia is a gas.

The stuff you get for cleaning has some gas dissolved in water, but you don't want to use water-based coolant for obvious reasons.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:17 PM #14
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

I don't think corrosion would be an issue as its a mineral oil solution. The oil either would have to be filtered or changed periodically as the heat will degrade it over time and it will get cloudy and collect particulate matter.

I also don't think there would be a temp shift issue as the tube would start at the same temp as the fluid.. If you look at the PC in the link, the oil takes on the heat from the components, so its not like it will be ice cold - it just conducts heat a lot better, so there aren't any rapid temp gradients and hot spots like in an air cooled system.

Also - Ammonia is highly corrosive so that would be a no go...
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Last edited by Escher; 01-24-2014 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:26 PM #15
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

Ya I had the over the counter dissolved ammonia. I would imagine the freezing point is under 0 C

I got the idea from a job I'm on. It's a massive refrigeration facility that circulates ammonia into some condenser coils but clearly there's more to this process. (Foot in mouth)

Edit: @escher I wouldn't use ammonia to submerge a laser in. More of a coolant to circulate through copper coils
But like I said this was only an idea I thought about a few months ago. Nothing I did any real research on or planning. I abandoned the idea a while ago.
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Last edited by Down with Umbrella; 01-24-2014 at 11:32 PM.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:32 PM #16
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Default Re: (hypothetical) Running an Argon-Ion Laser in the cold?

Nah - no foot in mouth.. There are specific applications I'm sure.. I had to research the oil side of things. It turns out the "Non-Conductive" fluids they use in typical pc-cooling aren't really non-conductive. Thats what led me to the mineral oil and transformer oil idea...

Its funny - I find that I do a lot more research on *this* forum than most of the others I frequent... just so I don't step in it. I hope I don't come across as a know it all or anything.. I just get excited about my hobbies!
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