Substantial growth in the demand for laser equipment and laser metal cutting equipment over the last five years, is reported to have spurred Air Liquide to invest in more equipment and on-site storage facilities to keep up with the demand.

Laser technology is typically replacing traditional cutting methods owing to the precision, speed and efficiency it offers to the cutting process, while Air Liquide manufactures and supplies all the gases required for laser cutting, under the strictest and safest procedures at its existing plants.

Laser gases come in two groups, one to generate the laser beam and the other to assist in the cutting. High purity nitrogen, carbon dioxide and helium are combined to generate the laser beam, while high purity nitrogen or oxygen are used to facilitate fast and clean cuts at the cutting end.

“Gases are graded according to their purity and a specific high quality is necessary for laser equipment. The gases are manufactured and produced to these specific laser quality requirements," Air Liquide Specialty Gas Manager, Wessels Els, told Engineering News.

Els added, “Production conforms to an international quality standard for lasers. All the gas production is carried out in a controlled safety environment, with adherence to worldwide safety procedures at all times, even though the gases involved in laser technology are not flammable or explosive and are relatively safe."

Air Liquide supplies gases and gas mixtures across many industries where the demand is for consistent high purity and reliable precision, the gases are stored in gas cylinders, or as a cryogenic liquid in bulk containers. These are transported either in cylinders or bulk containers of up to 20t liquid tanks, depending on the volume required.