Laser Gas Expertise – Quality & Service – Messer - Specialty Gases
CO2 LASER APPLICATIONS
Laser and process gases for CO2-laser cutting and welding
CO2-Laser Applications - Introduction 1
Application of CO2 Laser
Laser technology is a versatile tool for numerous industries and applications. Whether in metal processing in automotive-, aircraft- or ship-building, in the semiconductor industry, in medicine or in food technology, lasers of various types are used everywhere.
The most commonly used type of laser by far is the CO2 laser. In this type of technology, the laser beam is generated by using a three-component gas consisting of helium, nitrogen and the component that gives the system its name: CO2. The wavelength of the CO2 laser light is 10.6 μm and invisible to the human eye. Mirrors and lenses are utilized to direct and shape the laser beam.
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CO2-Laser Applications - Introduction 2
The term “operating gases” refers to gases required to generate the laser beam. Depending on the equipment configuration, either the laser gas is produced from the three pure components in an internal mixer or a premixed product is used. The gases need to be extremely pure and free of disruptive contaminants in order to guarantee perfect operation of the laser. For the pure gases, Messer recommends the purities: CO2 4.5, N2 5.0 and He 4.6
Due to the better reproducibility, the use of premixed laser gases has become the preferred approach. With our Lasline products, Messer offers an extensive selection of Laser gases.
In general, the composition of the gas mixture depends on the type of laser. The manufacturer specifies the exact composition. A change in the composition can impair performance or damage the resonator. Messer offers a complete range of Lasline resonator gas mixtures, e.g.
- Lasline Fa 5.55, Fa 5.35 and Fa 5.25 for Fanuc lasers
- Lasline Pa 1.23 for Panasonic lasers
- Lasline Tr/Pa 3.15 for Trunpf or Panasonic laser
- Lasline By 3.31 and 5.27 for Bystronic laser
- Lasline Rofin DC for Rofin Sinar Slab lasers
- Lasline Standard for different laser types
In addition, Messer offers the suitable gas supply equipment to satisfy the purity requirements of the applied gases.
Process Gases / Cutting Gases
Cutting gases are selected according to the material to be processed. Materials which are suitable for flame cutting are treated with pure oxygen. As such, the purity of the gas has a strong impact on the cutting speed. Due to the high purity of Oxycut, the cutting speed can be increased by up to 20%, depending on the thickness of the sheet or plate.
Most of the materials which are not suitable for flame cutting are pretreated with nitrogen. Based on the inert properties of nitrogen the resulting cutting surface will be oxide-free. However, slight contamination by oxygen or moisture causes discoloration on the cut surfaces. Nitrocut ensures the obtainment of high quality cut surfaces.
Titanium, tantalum and magnesium are examples of materials that form nitrides, as they undergo strong reactions with nitrogen. In order to weld these materials without performing post-processing operations such as milling, grinding or pickling, the use of argon is recommended for cutting.
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