Homing In on High-Purity Gases for Fresno Laser Welding


Lasers were proposed first by no less a person than 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 applied to weld polymers. Today, Fresno Oxygen & Welding Supplies/Barnes Welding Supply, one of over 150 PurityPlus® Partners at 600 locations coast to coast, is honored to be a trusted Fresno producer of the high-purity specialty gases so important to the gas laser welding process. Our key customers are significantly automated high-volume manufacturers. Those engaged in the automotive industry are possibly the most conspicuous exemplars 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 markedly elevates its plasma suppression properties.
  • As a resonator gas, ultra-high-purity (99.999%) PurityPlus® helium provides incredibly high thermal conductivity, the better to conduct heat away from the electric discharge. This makes it amore than suitable choice for truly high-powered laser welding.
  • PurityPlus® carbon dioxide, while much used alone to run CO2 lasers, is better combined with helium and nitrogen so as to attain the very high laser powers required 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 great as a shielding gas in laser welding, affords complete protection against ambient air. Since it generally assists in plasma generation, it should not be used for laser powers above 3 kW.

Regardless of your specific laser welding application here in Fresno, you can be confident we provide the PurityPlus® specialty gases with the certified high- or ultra-high purity needed to carry it off. Contact Fresno Oxygen & Welding Supplies/Barnes Welding Supply today.