Winterize Your Laser Cutter with Antifreeze

This article is for all the Canadians with C02 glass tube lasers (like our Thunder Laser Nova Laser series).  Protect your C02 glass tube laser in the same way you protect your RV or car-with antifreeze. Although there is technically no such thing as ‘laser cutter antifreeze’ we’ve included some RV and marine brands you can use that will prevent your glass laser tube from cracking during cold temperatures.

a jug of rv antifreexe Super Tech waterline antifreeze. Can be used as laser cutter antifreeze. Buy at Canadian Tire

Ideal Operating Temperatures for Thunder Laser Machines

The optimal operating temperature range for all Thunder Laser machines is between +15 and +35 celsius. Anything colder than this will require antifreeze to protect the laser tube and will keep your machine running smoothly.  So yes, even if you live on the west coast where temperatures are not as extreme, you still need to use antifreeze (unless you keep your workspace continuously heated 24 hours a day).

Winterizing Your Laser Step by Step Instructions

  1. Turn your laser and chiller off.
  2. Drain the lines of your machine completely, away from your machine (outside or into a bucket or bin)
  3. Clean any limescale you may find.
  4. Add the antifreeze liquid. 
  5. Open the chiller, let the water circulate for 5-10 minutes

Important Notes on Winterizing Your C02 Glass Tube Laser

One thing to know is that the antifreeze fluid will deteriorate to a certain extent when it is used for long periods of time. After the antifreeze fluid deteriorates, it will be more corrosive and the viscosity will also change, so it needs to be replaced regularly. We recommend you change the water once every 2-3 months (at room temperature).

Try to use the same brand of antifreeze each year. Even if the main components of different types of antifreeze are the same, their additive formulas will be different. It is not advisable to mix them to avoid chemical reactions, precipitation or bubbles.

If your laser will not be used for a long period of time, the water inside of laser tube, water chiller and water pipes should be drained out, especially for glass laser tube machines.

De-winterizing in the Spring

Much like an RV, you’ll need to flush the lines at the end of the cold season. 

When the ambient temperature starts to rise and the indoor temperature is above 15 celsius, the circulating antifreeze can be replaced with softened water such as distilled water or purified water.

Where to Buy:

We recommend you Super Tech Rv Waterline Antifreeze rated at -50c. This is the brand we use at our headquarters in Canada, so we know and trust this brand. It sometimes comes in different styles of containers.

Link:SuperTech RV Waterline at Walmart

Link:SuperTech RV Waterline on Ebay

Learn more about winterizing your laser and alternative brands on the Thunder Laser Knowledge Base

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