Focusing on High-Purity Gases for Richmond, Virginia Laser Welding03/22/2018 Lasers were initially proposed by – wouldn't you know it – Albert Einstein at the beginning 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. These days, Arc3 Gases, one of better than 150 PurityPlus® Partners at 600 locations nationwide, is happy to be a trusted Richmond, Virginia provider of the high-purity specialty gases so necessary to the gas laser welding process. Our key customers are majorly automated high-volume manufacturers. Those engaged in the automotive industry are perhaps the most conspicuous exemplars of such. A smidgen of gas laser rudiments: Resonator gases are most often a mixture of helium (He), carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrogen (N2). The active gas that actually produces the laser light itself – infrared radiation – is CO2.Shielding gases keep the weld area free of oxygen and water vapor, which helps increase the speed and quality of the welding process. Argon is the most prevalent shielding gas. It’s often mixed with helium, oxygen, or carbon dioxide, which notably improves its plasma suppression properties.As a resonator gas, ultra-high-purity (99.999%) PurityPlus® helium provides remarkably high thermal conductivity, the better to conduct heat away from the electric discharge. This makes it perfect for truly high-powered laser welding.PurityPlus® carbon dioxide, while frequently used by itself to control CO2 lasers, is better mixed with helium and nitrogen so as to achieve the very high laser powers required for laser cutting and welding.PurityPlus® nitrogen, expressly as an intermediary with CO2, is also beneficial for achieving very high laser powers.PurityPlus® argon, an inert gas and thus fantastic as a shielding gas in laser welding, affords full protection against ambient air. Because it commonally assists in plasma generation, it should not be used for laser powers above 3 kW. Whatever your particular laser welding application here in Richmond, Virginia, you can be sure we supply the PurityPlus® specialty gases with the certified high- or ultra-high purity needed to carry it out. Contact Arc3 Gases today.