Focusing on High-Purity Gases for Portland Laser Welding


Lasers were proposed originally by – wouldn't you know it – Albert Einstein in the early days 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. Today, Cryo-Source, one of more than 150 PurityPlus® Partners at 600 locations coast to coast, is proud to be a trusted Portland supplier of the high-purity specialty gases so critical to the gas laser welding process. Our principle customers are majorly automated high-volume manufacturers. Those engaged in the automotive industry are perhaps the most distinctive exemplars of such.

A few gas laser basics:

  • Resonator gases are most often an admixture of helium (He), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2). The active gas that actually generates the laser light itself – infrared radiation – is CO2.
  • Shielding gases keep the weld area free of oxygen and water vapor, which helps hike the speed and quality of the welding process. Argon is the most common shielding gas. It tends to be mixed with helium, oxygen, or carbon dioxide, which markedly improves its plasma suppression properties.
  • As a resonator gas, ultra-high-purity (99.999%) PurityPlus® helium delivers exceptionally high thermal conductivity, the better to conduct heat away from the electric discharge. This makes it an excellent choice for very high-powered laser welding.
  • PurityPlus® carbon dioxide, while much used alone to control CO2 lasers, is better combined with helium and nitrogen so as to achieve the very high laser powers mandatory for laser cutting and welding.
  • PurityPlus® nitrogen, expressly as an intermediary with CO2, is also advantageous to obtaining very high laser powers.
  • PurityPlus® argon, an inert gas and thus great as a shielding gas in laser welding, affords total protection against ambient air. Given that it normally assists in plasma generation, it should not be used for laser powers above 3 kW.

Regardless of your particular laser welding application here in Portland, you can be sure we offer the PurityPlus® specialty gases with the certified high- or ultra-high purity necessary to accomplish it. Contact Cryo-Source today.