07 November 2009

PIV laser gets new flash lamps

As the laser has lately given only about 25 mJ per pulse when set to maximum power, we figured it is perhaps time to change the flash lamps. In our Litron laser there are 4 lamps to replace, and on Friday afternoon we had everything in place, i.e. the lamps, new o-rings, appropriate laser manual and isopropyl alcohol to clean the new lamps. It took some time, and even if the manual explicitly said "do not lose" about 4 particular 3M bolts that was exactly what happened to one of them. It fell to the floor, two bounces was heard and then it was gone, probably it fell to the basement. The lost bolt must have moved a horizontal distance of at least 1 m, while subsequent experiments with a similar bolt showed an average horizontal displacement from the position of first floor contact of about 15 cm! However, we found new stainless steel 3M bolts and could proceed as planned. Also cooling water was renewed and before that we had changed to new filters. So, no we will hopefully get back the strong and clear light sheet that make stereo PIV such a nice method.

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