Typically, an average co2 laser tube will require replacement after around 2000 hours of operation. The replacement tube for most commercial laser machines will cost around $300, give or take around $20 and factoring sales taxes into the pricing. Any mechanically adept person can handle the job of swapping out the burnt-out tube for the new one in about an hour or two.
The first caution to be observed is to never disable the safety systems built into the machine itself. It should not be necessary to tamper with any of these during the replacement procedure. Following the step-by-step instructions is all that is necessary to successfully and safely carry out the exchange. Now, the tools required are fairly basic: craft knife for cutting silicon tubing, soldering iron and solder, a set of screwdrivers, wire strippers and cutters.
Detaching the old tube involves cutting back silicon tubing and sealer to expose the wires to be detached. Using the soldering iron, melt the solder while gently pulling at the wires until they come off. The water supply tubes should be disconnected next. Then the holding clips holding the laser tube should be undone and the tube lifted out.
Installing the replacement laser tube involves first soldering the wires disconnected from the old tube onto the circuit posts on each end of the mounting. Multi-strand or flexible soldering wire around 15 cm should be sufficient for this procedure. Stripping off the shielding, apply a strand at each end, wrapping them onto the post. This will aid the solder in adhering to the post. Then solder wire onto the posts. The solder should cover the wrapped wire while leaving the unwrapped portion uncovered. After this step, take silicon tubing, cut a 2 cm length for each end and place them over the supply leads.
The water supply tubing should now be connected to the inlets on the new laser tube. Next is to mount the tube onto the clips and tightening them until they have a secure hold on the tube. The power supply leads should now be soldered onto the posts on the tube itself. When these connections are soldered, push the silicon tubing over the wires to cover and protect them. A quick bench test should be performed to check all wiring and tubing connections and mirrors realigned before attempting any high power test or resuming regular operations.