Featured Image Caption: Plasma Cutting Systems
The rapid advancement in various techs has made the cost of machines go down, and many people can afford them compared to 50 years ago. Machine developers and engineers are now creating smaller portable devices that used to be stationary. Among this equipment are plasma cutters that are usually used for cutting and weld conductive metals.
In this post, we are exploring the various plasma cutting systems. Some of the factors that we will consider in plasma cutters are the various types of plasma cutting systems and their applications. We will also look at their benefits compared to metal cutting methods.
What is Plasma Cutting Systems?
Cutting metals needs precision and accuracy to produce high-quality products and cuts. The reason why plasma cutters are preferred over other metal cutting methods is because it produces clean cuts and polished working pieces. A constricting orifice is used to pass through jets of high high-velocity velocity ionized gas in plasma cutting. This gas is what we call plasma. Matter is available in four states at a time. It can either be solid, liquid, gas, or plasma. This type of gas conducts electricity and can melt various conductive metals. Using a plasma cutter produces a clean cut because the high-velocity jet blows the molten metal away.
Plasma Cutting vs. Oxyfuel Cutting
Plasma cutters can cut any metal that conducts electricity. These metals include mild and stainless steel or aluminum. When cutting mild steel, the cutting process is quicker even when cutting thick metal pieces compared to cutting alloy metals. Metal is cut by burning or oxidizing in oxyfuel. You can only use oxyfuel to cut ferrous metals that support the oxidizing process, such as steel. Cutting metals such as stainless steel and aluminum is impossible using the oxyfuel method because they form an oxide that prevents further oxidation.
Plasma cutting doesn’t need oxidation to work, making it the best option for cutting stainless steel or aluminum. Plasma cutting is also used for cutting other metals that don’t need oxidation and can conduct electricity. Various types of gases are used in plasma cutting. However, most people prefer using compressed air. Compressed air is easy to find compared to fuel gas or compressed oxygen. This makes plasma cutting a cost-effective method of cutting conductive metal.
Mastering plasma cutting is easier for a person with little or no experience in cutting metal. Unlike the oxyfuel metal cutting method, plasma cutting cuts thinner metals much faster. Metals that exceed 1 inch in thickness are cut well and much faster using the oxyfuel technique. In thicker metals, much power is needed if you are going to use plasma cutting.
Which Type of Metals are Cut with Plasma Cutter?
If you are going to use the plasma cutting technique, then the best metals include steel or ferrous metals that are less than 1 inch thick. Cutting metal using the oxyfuel method requires the operator to be careful in controlling the cutting speed. This helps to maintain the oxidizing process. Since plasma cutting doesn’t need oxidizing, there is no need to control the cutting speed.
In cutting expanded metal, plasma outshines oxyfuel. Using a plasma cutter is much faster compared to cutting metal mechanically. It also allows the operator to easily cut curved or non-linear cuts.
Limitations of Plasma Cutting
Using plasma cutters is more expensive than using oxyacetylene. Another factor about oxyacetylene is that it doesn’t need compressed air or electricity to run or cut metal. To many users, this metal cutting method is more convenient than plasma cutting. If the operator is dealing with workpieces that are one and above, then the best method will be oxyfuel. Like we mentioned earlier, plasma cutting works best when cutting thinner pieces of metals.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Plasma Cutter
If you feel like a plasma cutter is what you need to complete a project or create a metal product, you need to consider these factors.
The Metal Thickness
Before heading to the store to buy a plasma cutter, you need to consider the metal thickness you will deal with most of the time. Most manufacturers will mention the cutting power sources of the plasma cutter amperage and cutting ability. The operator should consider a plasma cutter with a lower amperage if he will deal with the metal thickness of about ¼” thick. If you are going to use workpieces that are above ½” in thickness, then you will need a higher amperage plasma cutter. The cut’s quality will reduce when you use a smaller plasma cutter to cut a thick workpiece.
Choose an Optimal Cutting Speed
You need to know whether your application will require high, mid, or low cutting speeds. Getting the proper cutting speed is easy, and you only need to inquire from the manufacturer. If your application deals with metals that are ¼”, you will need a plasma cutter with a higher amperage. A cutting machine with a lower amperage will do the work but at a very slow pace.
Plasma cutting offers high-quality cuts that meet industry standards. Compared to oxyfuel, it provides a much cleaner finishing, and it is also used to cut metals that oxyfuel cannot cut efficiently. The downside of plasma cutting is that it requires much power to run and cut metal. Before choosing which plasma cutter to use, consult your manufacturer first.
By Naman Modi
who is a Professional Blogger, SEO Expert & Guest blogger at Proteus Industries Inc. He is an Award-Winning Freelancer & Web Entrepreneur helping new entrepreneur’s launches their first successful online business.
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