Focusing on High-Purity Gases for Winona Laser Welding

 

Lasers were first proposed 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 employed to weld polymers. Today, Mississippi Welders Supply Co., Inc., one of over 150 PurityPlus® Partners at 600 locations across the states, is pleased to be a trusted Winona producer of the high-purity specialty gases so important to the gas laser welding process. Our key customers are considerably automated high-volume manufacturers. Those involved in the automotive industry are maybe the most conspicuous cases in point.

A few gas laser factoids:

  • Resonator gases are generally a combination of helium (He), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2). The active gas that as a matter of fact initiates 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 most prevalent shielding gas. It tends to be mixed with helium, oxygen, or carbon dioxide, which seriously 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 much used on its own to control CO2 lasers, is better mixed with helium and nitrogen so as to attain the very high laser powers needed for laser cutting and welding.
  • PurityPlus® nitrogen, particularly as an intermediary with CO2, is also beneficial for achieving very high laser powers.
  • PurityPlus® argon, an inert gas and thus first-rate as a shielding gas in laser welding, provides total protection against ambient air. Given that it normally aids in plasma generation, it should not be used for laser powers above 3 kW.

No matter what your particular laser welding application here in Winona, you can rest easy knowing we provide the PurityPlus® specialty gases with the certified high- or ultra-high purity required to fulfill it. Contact Mississippi Welders Supply Co., Inc. today.