Découpe industrielle : Oxycoupage, Découpe Laser et Découpe Plasma - Air Liquide

The main industrial cutting processes

In industry, the choice of the process and the cutting machine will be made according to various criteria and in particular: the thickness (low, medium or high thicknesses), the type of material (special metals, steels, aluminum or alloys), the choice of mode (manual or automated), the expected quality (precision, deformation), productivity (cutting speed, automation)...

Laser Cutting

Découpe laser - Air Liquide

With laser cutting, complex dimensionally accurate components can be produced in a reproducible manner with a narrow section, small heat affected zone and excellent cut quality.

The process is easy to automate and very cost-effective when processing thin metals. Within the automotive industry, laser cutting has become an established method for, for example, hot processing of body parts. With an extensive product portfolio under the LASAL brand, Air Liquide offers the right solution for all needs.

Air Liquide's LASAL™ range is the solution for laser cutting. It offers you the assist gases LASAL™ 2003 (Oxygen) and LASAL™ 2001 (Nitrogen) to maximise the productivity of your laser machine, as well as a wide selection of laser gases adapted to the specifications of your CO2 laser cutting machines.

The LASAL range of gases is supported by a full range of equipment solutions designed to ensure the high quality of our gases is maintained through to the point of use. Air Liquide can provide you with a cost-effective solution that delivers your laser gases at the flow-rate, pressure and purity that your laser system demands.

Fuel gases for cutting


Which fuel should be used – and does the purity of the oxygen have any significance for the process?

For the flame during cutting burning, "ordinary" fuel gases can be used, i.e. acetylene, propane,
natural gas (methane) or ethylene.

When cutting with a machine, cost efficiency is an important criterion, but also operating conditions such as gas supply, gas prices, gas consumption and more. It is important to have a powerful flame (fuel gas) to start the cutting process and carry out the cutting burn.

The combustion of hydrocarbon compounds takes place in two stages. In the primary flame, the added oxygen results in incomplete combustion. In the secondary flame, the fuel gas is completely burned through the absorption of oxygen from the surrounding air.

The fuel gases differ in flame temperature and ignition/burning speed and thus the primary flame power (kJ/cm2 . S).

When it comes to gas combustion technology, the effect of the primary flame is of particular importance.


  • Maximum flame temperature and primary flame power
  • High cutting performance compared to other fuels

With a permanent gas consumption of >500 l/h, several gas cylinders must be connected (gas cylinder package). The gas supply is therefore more complex than with propane/ethylene.


  • Lower primary flame effect, which reduces the cutting effect (especially with diagonal cuts)
  • Long heating and hole burning times

The oxygen consumption for the flame is about four times higher compared to acetylene. Propane is stored in liquid form, which means a larger amount of available gas.


  • Oxidize (burn) the steel
  • Drive the reaction products (slag, iron oxides) out of the cut and thus create the cut

The oxygen is necessary to burn the fuel gas (flame). A high flame effect results in more efficient cutting burning. The standard purity/quality of oxygen is 99.5% by volume (2.5). This quality is sufficient for cutting-burning technology. With a higher oxygen purity, for example 99.95% by volume (3.5), higher cutting power is achieved with better cut quality.

Gas consumption depends on the size of the burner. Cutting charts are important documents to guarantee cut quality and cutting effect – the basis for developing gas cutting parameters.

Plasma cutting

Découpe plasma

With plasma cutting, you can cut all electrically conductive materials, such as unalloyed, low-alloyed and high-alloyed steel, nickel, copper, brass, bronze and aluminium.

The method is used when the material can no longer be processed using cutting firing. The tapering effect of the cutting nozzle strongly concentrates the arc – the material in the cut melts and is blown out by the plasma gas. Plasma gases must not react with the electrode, and you must select a plasma gas suitable for the material. We advise you when to choose and offer the right solution for your process with ARCAL Prime, ARCAL 15 or nitrogen.

Do you have any questions about our gas and equipment solutions for industrial cutting?

Please complete our contact form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.