Thanks to the experience gained in over 60 years of R&D in atmosphere control and treatment technologies, Isocell has designed its LASERPOWER line, developed to produce nitrogen with 3 purity levels, 100, 50 and 10 ppm. The dimensions of the generators are designed to adapt to the consumption of our customers’ laser machines. There are applications both for individual machines and for specialised centres with several laser machines. Our autoproducer plants have various solutions that are also suitable to offset consumption peaks through storage in 300 bar cylinder sets. For instance, with 2 cylinder sets we are able to store 480 m3, a solution that for many users covers a whole day of laser cutting.
Optic fibre technology effectively revolutionised the laser sector, leading nitrogen to become the main supporting gas in laser cutting processes. Oxygen has therefore become less important and is now only used in laser cutting for extra-thick carbon steels and to cut copper.
Fibre laser technology has introduced on the market laser sources with truly high power levels (8-10-12 kW). They are now included in the catalogues of almost all manufacturers and 20 kW sources, which are currently being tested, are expected to be sold on the market in a few years. Having high power means laser machines can cut at high pressure, i.e. using nitrogen, and reach incredible performance levels. These laser machines allow for truly high cutting speeds, in some cases even 7/8 higher than CO2 lasers, though this only applies to the high pressure nitrogen cutting process. A complete revolution is therefore underway in the laser cutting sector. Except for the extra thicknesses of carbon steel, all other materials are processed by using nitrogen as a process gas. Where once carbon steel was cut using oxygen at pressure values from 0.5 to 2 bar, nowadays cutting is carried out with nitrogen from 8.5 to 18 bar. This means there is clearly the need to keep the cost of cutting gas provisioning under control. By cutting carbon steel with nitrogen, you obtain a white cut and completely eliminate the light blue film on the cutting surface, which was a serious inconvenience at the welding and painting stage.
Applications on austenitic stainless steels, ferritic and duplex stainless steels are by far favouring Nitrogen compared to Argon, as it reduces or eliminates welding porosity.
Nitrogen is an inert gas used in many welding processes, as it offers both savings and technological benefits.
Laser welding is carried out with many types of materials, pure argon or mixed with other gases is used on some, while nitrogen is used on others. Nitrogen has a central role on laser welding applications on noble materials, including austenitic stainless steels, ferritic stainless steels and austenitic-ferritic steels (Duplex). With the appearance of optic fibre, manufactures of laser sources and welding systems have developed applications where Argon and Helium are effectively replaced with nitrogen, thereby allowing for considerable savings, in some cases also from a technical point of view. Top technological applications have been carried out in the steel pipe welding sector. Some pipe manufacturers have decided to adopt this technology to increase their production output and limit energy consumption. Nitrogen was chosen for its ability to reduce or even eliminate porosity in the welded area, effectively creating a technological innovation.
The dimensions of the generators PSA NL S and D are designed to adapt to the consumption of our customers’ laser machines. There are applications both for individual machines and for specialised centres with several laser machines. Our autoproducing plants have various solutions that are also suitable to offset consumption peaks through storage in 300 bar cylinder sets. Their modular structure allows the expansion of the production capacity of the system even after the start of the operations, simply by inserting more filtering columns into the single machine, or by adding additional external modules.