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Tiny bubbles in laser tube

Discussion in 'Laser Projects' started by BitHappy, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. BitHappy

    BitHappy New
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    So I recently had to purchase a new laser tube. My water chiller blew it's fuse so after I took it out, fixed it, and put it back in, apparently an air bubble got into the tube and the laser completely fried. :/ So I'm trying to be extra careful with my new tube.

    Something weird is happening with it though. Before I turn on the machine I check the tube and it is completely void of bubbles, 100% full if water, but then after running the laser for a minute or two, thousands of tiny little bubbles start condensing all over the inside of the tube! I'm not sure if they will damage the laser or not, but I'm worried even if they are ok, that if I run the machine for more than a few minutes more and more bubbles with form and gather into large bubbles that will cause a problem!

    Does anyone know why it's doing this or how I can stop it? Thanks so much for the help! I'm uploading a video of the bubbles to youtube so you can see what I'm talking about.

    tl;dr - after running the laser for a few minutes, thousands of tiny bubbles start forming and I'm worried they're going to fry my laser tube. Any ideas how to stop them?



    Thanks so much!
    Jeremy
     
  2. GrayUK

    GrayUK Openbuilds Team Elder
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  3. BitHappy

    BitHappy New
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    It didn't. :/ It helped my initial problem of bubbles before I turned on the machine, and it seems to help the bubbles not stick as bad to the glass, but the bubbles are still appearing at a rate much faster than they are floating away.. it's weird, I don't remember my old laser tube doing anything like this. I'm not sure if it's cause the tube is heating up? Or what...
     
  4. Anthony Bolgar

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    Add a few drops of dishwashing liquid to the water. It will break the surface tension and get rid of most of the bubbles.
     
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  5. BitHappy

    BitHappy New
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    Thanks! I did try that actually and it seemed to help, but the bubbles just all come out of nowhere. How much soap is too much? I put like 3-4 drops in. What I'm most concerned about is the bubbles forming around the metal electrode at the far end. Some of those already are combining into bigger bubbles and since it's beyond the water outlet, there's no real moving water going past that area and no way to dislodge the bubbles.. you can kindof see what I mean in the video I posted. Maybe I just need a lot more soap?
     
  6. Anthony Bolgar

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    Are you using distilled water?
     
  7. BitHappy

    BitHappy New
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    I am, but it's just like the gallons of distilled water I got at fry's. Is that sufficient? That's all I used with my last tube I think.
     
  8. BitHappy

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    So I ended up boiling some distilled water to get all the dissolved air out air out, and mixing that with a 4-1 mix of propylene glycol and it seems to be a little better, but there's still bubbles forming. :/ Is it safe to use soap too if I have propylene glycol in there? Figure a mixture of everything could help haha.. Thanks!
     
  9. GrayUK

    GrayUK Openbuilds Team Elder
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    Have you tried putting your query in the Laser Section? There are members who only look at their defined speciality.
    Give it a try. :D
     
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  10. BitHappy

    BitHappy New
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    Oh I didn't even realize I put it in the wrong section! Thanks so much! I'll try that!
     

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