Zeroing In on High-Purity Gases for Auburn Laser Welding


Lasers were postulated first by – wouldn't you know it – Albert Einstein at the beginning of the 20th century. It wasn’t until the 1980s, though, that lasers were employed to solder lead in electronic component circuit boards. And it wasn’t until 2002 that CO2 lasers were used to weld polymers. These days, Spec Air Specialty Gases, one of over 150 PurityPlus® Partners at 600 locations nationwide, is pleased to be a trusted Auburn producer of the high-purity specialty gases so critical to the gas laser welding process. Our main customers are majorly automated high-volume manufacturers. Those involved in the automotive industry are likely the most identifiable cases in point.

A few gas laser factoids:

  • Resonator gases are normally a mix of helium (He), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2). The active gas that in fact engenders the laser light itself – infrared radiation – is CO2.
  • Shielding gases isolate the weld area from oxygen and water vapor, which helps jack up the speed and quality of the welding process. Argon is the more familiar shielding gas. It tends to be mixed with helium, oxygen, or carbon dioxide, which significantly elevates its plasma suppression properties.
  • As a resonator gas, ultra-high-purity (99.999%) PurityPlus® helium offers remarkably high thermal conductivity, the better to conduct heat away from the electric discharge. This makes it a great choice for really high-powered laser welding.
  • PurityPlus® carbon dioxide, while often used on its own to control CO2 lasers, is better intermixed with helium and nitrogen so as to attain the very high laser powers required for laser cutting and welding.
  • PurityPlus® nitrogen, especially as an intermediary with CO2, is also helpful in obtaining very high laser powers.
  • PurityPlus® argon, an inert gas and thus first-rate as a shielding gas in laser welding, offers total protection against ambient air. Because it generally assists in plasma generation, it should not be used for laser powers above 3 kW.

Regardless of your singular laser welding application here in Auburn, you can be sure we have the PurityPlus® specialty gases with the certified high- or ultra-high purity necessary to accomplish it. Contact Spec Air Specialty Gases today.