Zeroing In on High-Purity Gases for Cincinnati Laser Welding


Lasers were posited initially by – wouldn't you guess it – Albert Einstein at the dawn 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, Wright Brothers, one of better than 150 PurityPlus® Partners at 600 locations nationwide, is happy to be a trusted Cincinnati provider of the high-purity specialty gases so necessary to the gas laser welding process. Our principle customers are heavily automated high-volume manufacturers. Those engaged in the automotive industry are maybe the most visible examples of such.

A few gas laser factoids:

  • Resonator gases are commonly a mix of helium (He), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2). The active gas that actually engenders the laser light itself – infrared radiation – is CO2.
  • Shielding gases protect the weld area from oxygen and water vapor, which helps boost the speed and quality of the welding process. Argon is the most common shielding gas. It’s often 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 provides remarkably high thermal conductivity, the better to conduct heat away from the electric discharge. This makes it perfect for truly high-powered laser welding.
  • PurityPlus® carbon dioxide, while frequently used by itself to run CO2 lasers, is better intermixed with helium and nitrogen so as to achieve the very high laser powers mandatory 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 excellent as a shielding gas in laser welding, offers complete protection against ambient air. Given that it usually supports plasma generation, it should not be used for laser powers above 3 kW.

Whatever your particular laser welding application here in Cincinnati, you can be sure we have the PurityPlus® specialty gases with the certified high- or ultra-high purity necessary to accomplish it. Contact Wright Brothers today.