The fabrication of tubular glass components used in the manufacture of laser systems requires the combination of the highest quality materials; the knowledge and experience of skilled craftsmen; and the engineering and manufacturing capabilities to meet the demanding quality standards of the laser industry. At Andrews, we meet the requirements. Our experience in working on hard to make components that demand tight tolerences, high quality, and imperfection free finished products qualifies us as an excellent source for tubular glass laser components. Our specialties include CO2, HeNe, YAG, and Excimer components, including gas discharge and return tubes, flow tubes, connector and dust traps. In addition, we have expertise in glass-to-metal seals in applications using borosilicate glass, quartz, and ceramics
It all starts with the tubular glass. At Andrews, we use Schott tubular glass which is recognized as the highest quality in the world. Since quality is our number one priority, it is important to minimize imperfections in the glass from the beginning. Once Andrews has the drawings and specifications for the component, we begin the process of shrinking or redrawing the tubular glass to the ID or OD size that we need. Using a proprietary process, we can manipulate the wall weight to the desired specification and produce a pristine, clean, straight ID, an extremely important feature for tubular glass components in laser systems. With the use of state of the art autolathes, Andrews can keep the cost of the project down without sacrificing quality. Our skilled operators, some of the highest rated glassblowers in the industry, are coupled with computer aided software systems to control and replicate OD and ID piece after piece. Being able to do this on multiple machines without sacrificing quality makes the manufacturing process cost effective, particularly on large orders.
The third area where Andrews excels is in dealing with dissimilar materials. There are different coefficients of expansion for different glasses and other materials, such as kovar, titanium, stainless steel, etc.. In the course of producing components, it is often necessary to marry one type of glass to another type or to another material. The art of fusing two dissimilar materials together (sealing) requires both knowledge of the materials and skill at applying the fire necessary to get it done. At Andrews, we have both the knowledge and the skill.
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