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laser plasma cutter
Welding and Cutting

Laser Processing

Shielding gases and assist gases; ensuring the highest weld and cut quality, increased productivity and reduced rejects

Whether you are cutting, marking or welding with a laser, Air Products offers the complete range of shielding and assist gases. Reduce downtime and gas wastage with our CryoEase® microbulk, high-pressure liquid solutions or on-site generators. Our experienced application engineers can help provide the right purity and pressure requirements for all your assist gas needs. Oxygen is traditionally used in thicker steel cutting and nitrogen for thinner materials, such as steel and aluminum. Let our experience come to work for you, finding the right assist gas and supply system to ensure your laser is cutting when you need it.

Ask the Expert

Don Bowe
Don Bowe

Applications Engineer

What are the key design considerations for high-pressure nitrogen supply to my laser cutting operation?

Industrial lasers are requiring increasingly higher pressures and flow rates of nitrogen. The laser itself requires a minimum supply pressure at the inlet. It is necessary to have not only the adequate pressure, but it must also be maintained under flowing, dynamic conditions when the laser is cutting. There are many nitrogen supply modes available with high pressure supply capability. When choosing one, the two most important parameters to consider are the initial supply pressure and flow capacity.

The initial pressure is the pressure at the start of houseline piping. The flow capacity is the ability of the system to provide the required process flow rate. As the nitrogen flows to the laser and progresses through the houseline piping – across valves and elbows – there is an associated pressure drop. The amount of the pressure drop is related to many factors such as the pipe length, pipe cross section, and valve size. If any part of the houseline is inadequately sized, there will be an excessive pressure drop which could result in insufficient pressure at the laser. Therefore, the houseline needs to be designed with adequately sized components to minimize the amount of pressure drop on the houseline to the laser. 

The pressure drop across a houseline can be modeled using engineering programs. Alternatively, the actual pressure drop can be measured by installing or placing pressure gauges along the length of the houseline. The actual pressure drop measurement must be done with a full flow of nitrogen to the laser

Let Air Products put our experience in laser applications to work for you. We provide total solutions for your laser cutting requirements with equipment, technology and reliable gas supply. We have the expertise that comes from being a leading supplier to the industry around the world.