Homing In on High-Purity Gases for Riverside Laser Welding


Lasers were hypothesized initially 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 applied to solder lead in electronic component circuit boards. And it wasn’t until 2002 that CO2 lasers were applied to weld polymers. Today, Elite Air, one of over 150 PurityPlus® Partners at 600 locations coast to coast, is honored to be a trusted Riverside producer of the high-purity specialty gases so essential to the gas laser welding process. Our key customers are significantly automated high-volume manufacturers. Those involved in the automotive industry are possibly the most conspicuous exemplars of such.

A few gas laser basics:

  • Resonator gases are most often 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 common shielding gas. It’s often mixed with helium, oxygen, or carbon dioxide, which considerably improves its plasma suppression properties.
  • As a resonator gas, ultra-high-purity (99.999%) PurityPlus® helium delivers remarkably high thermal conductivity, the better to conduct heat away from the electric discharge. This makes it perfect for really high-powered laser welding.
  • PurityPlus® carbon dioxide, while often used by itself to operate CO2 lasers, is better combined with helium and nitrogen so as to attain the very high laser powers mandatory for laser cutting and welding.
  • PurityPlus® nitrogen, particularly as an intermediary with CO2, is also beneficial for obtaining very high laser powers.
  • PurityPlus® argon, an inert gas and thus great as a shielding gas in laser welding, provides full protection against ambient air. Since it normally assists in plasma generation, it should not be used for laser powers above 3 kW.

Whatever your specific laser welding application here in Riverside, you can be confident we provide the PurityPlus® specialty gases with the certified high- or ultra-high purity necessary to carry it off. Contact Elite Air today.