Note the tube was built Feb 16, 2011. This means that when the tube was installed it was 8 ½ months old.
When it started failing in mid-Feb 2012 it was over 1 year old, even though it only had 80 hours of actual activation since being installed on Oct 31, 2011.
Some of the failure mechanisms we’ve heard mentioned include:
- Electrode erosion (due to excessive current)
- Optical failures (mirror or exit window)
- Leakage (degradation of resin seals)
- Out-gassing (contamination of gas in tube mainly by seals)
- Exhaustion (change in gas chemistry, notably CO2 into CO)