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Nitrogen for fibre?
#1
With no purge gas you might think that the use of nitrogen in fibre lasers was less. However, when it is used as an assist gas, the volume of nitrogen used can be 2-3 times as much. The problem with storage of gas tanks or bulk gas storage is one of space and availability. If the store of gas is running low, you have to remember to reorder, wait for the delivery and possibly lose production in the meantime. If you choose a nitrogen generator these problems go away. Admittedly you have to buy the generator, but some companies are offering a leasing deal so you can pay while using the kit, so it does not have to have a big impact on your budgets.
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#2
When to use nitrogen rather depends on the material you are cutting, the market you are serving and the edge quality demanded.

For the best edge quality and for thicker materials over about 10 or 12mm, Nitrogen is the best choice. It keeps the cut cooler, so the cut edge sees less heat and is a much better quality. Stainless is also a candidate for nitrogen cutting for the best edge.

For thin materials air is probably OK for most applications as it does not take too much heat to cut and is good enough for most powder coatings to adhere satisfactorily. If the edge is to be welded, the finish is less crucial, so air may be good for these too.

The cost of nitrogen compared with air cutting is significant, so it is definitely worth doing some tests to see if it is right for your application and that the customer is happy.
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