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BLM Group adds compressed air capability to all laser systems

December 16, 2021 - BLM Group USA, Novi, Michigan, has announced the ability of high pressure (HP) dry air (also known as compressed) to be used as an assist gas on all of its flat sheet and tube laser cutting systems. Systems using compressed air can achieve faster speeds, improved cutting and smoother edge quality, especially in aluminum applications. This new option enables users to choose the gas best suited for their particular material and application.

When used in aluminum applications, high pressure dry air produces virtually dross-free cuts while gaining up to 150 percent increases in speed on 1/8 in. thick aluminum. The low cost of air and speed of the operation makes this an excellent choice for any fabricator processing aluminum.

Compressed air can also be an appropriate choice for mild steel applications, where it has a lower cost yet comparable speed to nitrogen. However, the thickness of the materials that can be processed with HP air will vary depending upon the laser power; materials up to 1/8 in. can be cut using a 3kW laser or ¼ in. with a 6kW laser and above.   

As an assist gas, compressed air is a blend of other gases including nitrogen, a non-reactive gas, and reactive oxygen. Since the portion of inert air is high, it’s possible to achieve speeds equal to nitrogen cutting while the remaining portion of gas is oxygen, which creates more heat in the cutting.

Additional benefits of using compressed air as an assist gas include:

  • It’s economical
  • Maintenance cost is low
  • Post-processing work can be minimized in many fabricating applications
  • It reduces or eliminates dependencies on 3rd parties for gas

BLM Group has made this option available on its LT5, LT7, LT8.20, LT Fiber EVO, LT.14 and LT.24 laser tubes; its LT360 and LTFree 5-axis lasers; and its LC5 and LS5 2D laser systems.

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