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How is nitrogen used in laser cutting process?

Cutting of metal sparks fly from laser
Nitrogen gas is essential in the preservation of snack foods, bottling, packaging, electronics soldering and a number of other applications. It is also crucial during laser cutting and accounts for 60% of the total operational cost of a laser cutting machine used for different type of metals.

But what exactly is the nitrogen gas used for?

Oxidation prevention Nitrogen and other inert gases prevent surface oxidation of mild steel, stainless steel, titanium and aluminum. Oxidation occurs when oxygen and moisture chemically react with the metal, causing corrosion. By using nitrogen in the cutting process, this pushes out any surrounding oxygen from reacting with the metal and helps to prevent any additional heat generation. Higher pressures of nitrogen are used depending on the thickness and strength of the metal that is being cut. Preventing oxidation of the metal produces a higher-quality finish and reduces the preparation time for welding and surface treatment after the cutting.
Pneumatech Gas Generator PPNG 150-800 HE
Laser beam purging A clean laser beam stream is necessary for the laser cutting process to prevent any irregularities in the cut. To prevent any contamination to the laser beam, nitrogen is used to purge the tube that the laser beam travels through. This also pushes out oxygen and any contaminates in the air that would otherwise affect the laser. If nitrogen is not used in this process, periods of downtown to repair the optics on the cutting machine can become frequent. This helps ensure burr-free cutting and increased productivity through a higher, cleaner cutting speed. Using nitrogen for laser cutting over other gases has become the standard in the metal industry because of its' oxygen reducing benefits. Because the cost of nitrogen is the majority of the expense in laser cutting, having an on-site nitrogen generator will not only reduce your operating costs, but will also provide a constant flow of nitrogen gas when downtime can be catastrophic. Pneumatech provides multiple nitrogen solutions for laser cutting through the PPNG gas generator range that can reach purities of up to 99.999%.

What are the benefits of on-site nitrogen generation?

Many companies still purchase their nitrogen – even though generating oxygen on-site offers more advantages.

  • Greater cost-efficiency to save you money
  • Eliminating bottle or liquid deliveries reduces your environmental footprint
  • Take charge of your own nitrogen supply
  • Less hassle by removing supply logistics

PSA Nitrogen Generators

PPNG produces nitrogen with purity ranging from 95% up to 99.999% and flows up to 2600 m³/hr