Homing In on High-Purity Gases for Denver Laser Welding


Lasers were first posited by none other than Albert Einstein at the start 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 applied to weld polymers. Today, Rocky Mountain Air Solutions, one of over 150 PurityPlus® Partners at 600 locations nationwide, is thrilled to be a trusted Denver producer of the high-purity specialty gases so important to the gas laser welding process. Our key customers are heavily automated high-volume manufacturers. Those associated with the automotive industry are likely the most distinctive exemplars of such.

A few gas laser basics:

  • Resonator gases are commonly a mix of helium (He), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2). The active gas that actually produces the laser light itself – infrared radiation – is CO2.
  • Shielding gases isolate the weld area from oxygen and water vapor, which helps boost the speed and quality of the welding process. Argon is the most prevalent shielding gas. It’s often mixed with helium, oxygen, or carbon dioxide, which notably 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 an excellent choice for really high-powered laser welding.
  • PurityPlus® carbon dioxide, while much used on its own to run CO2 lasers, is better mixed with helium and nitrogen so as to realize the very high laser powers needed for laser cutting and welding.
  • PurityPlus® nitrogen, expressly as an intermediary with CO2, is also beneficial for achieving very high laser powers.
  • PurityPlus® argon, an inert gas and thus superb as a shielding gas in laser welding, affords total protection against ambient air. Since it usually 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 Denver, you can be sure we offer the PurityPlus® specialty gases with the certified high- or ultra-high purity necessary to accomplish it. Contact Rocky Mountain Air Solutions today.