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laser plasma cutter

Laser Processing

Shielding gases and assist gases; ensuring the highest weld and cut quality, increased productivity and reduced rejects

Whether you are cutting, marking or welding with a laser, Air Products offers the complete range of shielding and assist gases. Reduce downtime and gas wastage with our CryoEase® microbulk, high-pressure liquid solutions or on-site generators. Our experienced application engineers can help provide the right purity and pressure requirements for all your assist gas needs. Oxygen is traditionally used in thicker steel cutting and nitrogen for thinner materials, such as steel and aluminum. Let our experience come to work for you, finding the right assist gas and supply system to ensure your laser is cutting when you need it.

Laser Gas solutions from Air Products

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Ask the Expert

Don Bowe

Don Bowe

Applications Engineer

“What are the key design considerations for high-pressure nitrogen supply to my laser cutting operation?”
Industrial lasers are requiring increasingly higher pressures and flow rates of nitrogen. The laser itself requires a minimum supply pressure at the inlet. It is necessary to have not only the adequate pressure, but it must also be maintained under flowing, dynamic conditions when the laser is cutting. There are many nitrogen supply modes available with high pressure supply capability. When choosing one, the two most important parameters to consider are the initial supply pressure and flow capacity.

The initial pressure is the pressure at the start of houseline piping. The flow capacity is the ability of the system to provide the required process flow rate. As the nitrogen flows to the laser and progresses through the houseline piping – across valves and elbows – there is an associated pressure drop. The amount of the pressure drop is related to many factors such as the pipe length, pipe cross section, and valve size. If any part of the houseline is inadequately sized, there will be an excessive pressure drop which could result in insufficient pressure at the laser. Therefore, the houseline needs to be designed with adequately sized components to minimize the amount of pressure drop on the houseline to the laser. 

The pressure drop across a houseline can be modeled using engineering programs. Alternatively, the actual pressure drop can be measured by installing or placing pressure gauges along the length of the houseline. The actual pressure drop measurement must be done with a full flow of nitrogen to the laser

Let Air Products put our experience in laser applications to work for you. We provide total solutions for your laser cutting requirements with equipment, technology and reliable gas supply. We have the expertise that comes from being a leading supplier to the industry around the world.
Laser cut machine

Laser Focus to your gas purity: it can pay off

When laser cutting metals, a cutting gas is used, which flows out of the nozzle. The cutting gas not only protects the lens from fumes and spatter, it also cools the edges of the kerf, blows away molten metal and oxides from the kerf. And if oxygen is used, it also contributes to the cutting process by reacting with the metal to be cut. In laser oxygen cutting, the additional heat input from the oxidization of the metal is used to obtain high cutting speeds or to cut thicker material. This process fits only with mild steel and low-alloyed steel.

Gases used:

  • Carbon and low alloy steels – oxygen or nitrogen (high pressure)
  • Stainless steels, aluminium & alloys – nitrogen (high pressure)
  • Magnesium, titanium & other reactive materials – argon (high pressure)

Each gas has unique properties which make it the preferred assist gas for cutting each of the material groups.


Air Products gases, typically provided in gaseous and liquid form, enable customers in a wide range of industries to improve their environmental performance, product quality, and productivity


Useful as a gas, for its inert properties, and as a liquid for cooling and freezing. Virtually any industry can benefit from its unique properties to improve yields, optimize performance and make operations safer.


In addition to its use as a respiratory gas for healthcare applications, its strong oxidizing properties benefit many industries by improving yields, optimizing performance, lowering costs and reducing carbon footprint compared to other fuels.


Compressed argon gas and liquid argon in a variety of purities and in various modes of supply around the world thanks to our network of storage and transfill facilities.


An inert gas for cryogenic, heat transfer, shielding, leak detection, analytical and lifting applications

CryoEase® Microbulk Solutions

A convenient and cost-effective solution for larger operations. CryoEase® tanks are available in a range of sizes. The CryoEase® service simplifies your gas supply by eliminating the need to handle cylinders, stock taking and ordering.

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Request a quote for your assist gases: nitrogen, oxygen, argon, helium or mixtures.

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Cryoease Tank

CryoEase® Microbulk Solutions – Gas Supply Made Simple

A compact on-site cryogenic tank that is regularly replenished by a specially-designed delivery vehicle. Air Products' CryoEase® microbulk service offers the advantages of bulk supply to smaller volume users of oxygen and nitrogen users.

  • Saves time – no more handling or changing of cylinders
  • Saves space – tank can be sited conveniently to relieve valuable floor space
  • Peace of mind – our Gas Management system automatically schedules regular deliveries, saving you the hassle of chasing orders or waiting for deliveries

Constant and reliable supply with a lower carbon footprint— you can reduce the number of gas deliveries to your business since Air Products looks after your order planning, fulfillment and delivery.

Download CryoEase® Service brochure

Optimizing your laser cutting gas supply (2:42)

There are many nitrogen supply modes available with high pressure supply capability. When choosing one, the two most important parameters to consider are the initial supply pressure and flow capacity.