Homing In on High-Purity Gases for Sioux Falls Laser Welding


Lasers were posited originally by none other than Albert Einstein in the early days of the 20th century. It wasn’t until the 1980s, though, that lasers were used to solder lead in electronic component circuit boards. And it wasn’t until 2002 that CO2 lasers were used to weld polymers. These days, A-OX Welding Supply, one of over 150 PurityPlus® Partners at 600 locations coast to coast, is pleased to be a trusted Sioux Falls provider of the high-purity specialty gases so critical to the gas laser welding process. Our main customers are heavily automated high-volume manufacturers. Those involved in the automotive industry are perhaps the most conspicuous examples of such.

A sampling of gas laser basics:

  • Resonator gases are normally a mixture of helium (He), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2). The active gas that in fact initiates the laser light itself – infrared radiation – is CO2.
  • Shielding gases safeguard the weld area from oxygen and water vapor, which helps boost the speed and quality of the welding process. Argon is the more traditional shielding gas. It’s frequently mixed with helium, oxygen, or carbon dioxide, which considerably enhances its plasma suppression properties.
  • As a resonator gas, ultra-high-purity (99.999%) PurityPlus® helium offers extremely high thermal conductivity, the better to conduct heat away from the electric discharge. This makes it a great choice for truly high-powered laser welding.
  • PurityPlus® carbon dioxide, while frequently used by itself to run CO2 lasers, is better mixed with helium and nitrogen so as to achieve the very high laser powers needed for laser cutting and welding.
  • PurityPlus® nitrogen, expressly as an intermediary with CO2, is also helpful in securing very high laser powers.
  • PurityPlus® argon, an inert gas and thus excellent as a shielding gas in laser welding, affords full protection against ambient air. Because it typically supports plasma generation, it should not be used for laser powers above 3 kW.

Regardless of your singular laser welding application here in Sioux Falls, you can be sure we supply the PurityPlus® specialty gases with the certified high- or ultra-high purity required to carry it off. Contact A-OX Welding Supply today.