Industrial laser materials processing includes the following applications:
- Laser cutting of metals, ceramics, wood, fabrics, plastics
- Laser welding of metals, ceramics and plastics
- On-site fill using high pressure road tankers ensures continuous product supply with no process interruption
The laser cutting process relies on the high energy of the laser beam, concentrated to a spot of about 0.2 mm in diameter, to vaporise the metal. The molten metal is then blown from the cut area by a coaxial jet of assist gas to perform the cut.
The choice of assist gas is extremely important and can have a significant effect on the process quality and productivity. Assist gases are traditionally supplied in manifolded cylinder packs (MCP), micro-bulk (minitank) or large bulk, dependant on customer volume usage.
Assist Gases for Laser Cutting
Oxygen – used at low pressures (0.5–5 bar) and low flows (up to 10Nm3/hour) to cut mild steel. Oxygen can also be used at higher pressure (up to 12 bar) and higher flows (up to 20 Nm³/hour) to cut stainless steel where cut quality is not important.
Nitrogen – used at high pressures (10–25 bar) and high flows (10–105 Nm3/hour) to cut stainless steels, nickel alloys and other nonferrous metals.
Argon – used at high pressures (8–20 bar) to cut reactive materials such as titanium and magnesium (predominantly aerospace applications).
Unique Benefits of CryoEase in Laser Cutting and Welding Applications
- High purity gas supply
- Available for nitrogen, oxygen and argon
- On-site fill ensures continuous product supply with no process interruption
- Nitrogen supply capability up to 32 bar pressure and 100Nm3/hour flow rate
- Up to 2000 litres liquid tank capacity
- 2000 litre tank is equivalent to:
– 10 to 15 cylinder packs
- Smaller footprint than equivalent gas volume in packs
- Tanks can be manifolded together to increase storage capability and flow rates
- More cost effective than packs for continuous high pressure laser cutting
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