Plasma cutting equipment is currently widely employed, particularly in the mechanical sector, to make metal cutting faster, prettier, and more practical. But What is Plasma Cutting? It’s still something that not everyone can answer correctly. As a welder/cutler, you must know the types of machines involved in your work and how they work. Get started with weldfaq for more information!
What is Plasma Cutting?
In addition to not existing as a gas, liquid, or solid, plasma is the fourth state of matter and is able to produce incredibly high temperatures. It also has good electrical conductivity (10,000 – 15,000 degrees Celsius). As a result, the metal will swiftly convert into a liquid form and be cut with ease by the plasma cutting current as it goes through the metal.
Any conductive metal can be sliced through using the profile cutting process known as plasma cutting. This comprises thick or thin metals including steel, aluminum, brass, titanium, and copper. Using a portable plasma torch, one can perform hand-held plasma cutting.
Metal may be cut with high precision and a cutting thickness of up to 50 mm using a plasma cutting machine. Many mechanical fields employ this plasma metal cutting tool.
How does Plasma Cutter work?
In order to employ a highly hot, ionized gas stream to melt and cut conductive metals, plasma cutting involves constricting the stream with a suitable nozzle. The manner of cutting is therefore thermal.
Gases like nitrogen or oxygen are also used by plasma cutters in addition to compressed air. In order to create plasma, these gases are ionized. An additional pressure is produced by ionizing the compressed air after it comes into contact with the electrode. A small nozzle-like hole is forced open as the pressure rises, allowing a jet of plasma to pass through.
Plasma flow is produced by a flow-limiting cutter head. After that, it is placed into the embryo. The cutting table serves as the conduit through which the workpiece is connected to the ground since the plasma transmits electricity. Metal melts when the plasma arc comes into touch with it due to its high temperature. Then, conductive metal can be sliced through.
Uses of Plasma Cutting
This kind of cutting is frequently used to carry out tasks like cutting, chamfering, marking, and drilling holes.
Steel constructions, pipe structures, and other forms of metal fabrication operations all make use of plasma cutting.
It is used in the construction, agricultural, mechanical, energy, transportation, and other industries’ manufacturing, repair, maintenance, and dismantling processes.
On bigger metal sheets, CNC plasma cutting helps cut profiles from digital data. The Plasma Cutter is incredibly exact when cutting profiles thanks to these kinds of procedures.
The most typical application for designers and artists is in sculpture and signs, as well as in decorative panels for interior projects.
It is frequently used in conjunction with metal finishing techniques like powder coating for a colorful finish in many mild steel, plasma cut metal items.
Pros and Cons of Plasma Cutting
Pros of Plasma Cutting
- Materials of all kinds and thicknesses can be sliced using plasma technology. There is a maximum 150 mm cutting thickness.
- The operator doesn’t need to have advanced technical abilities to cut with plasma. There are few adjustments required when manipulating, and the cutting procedure is equally straightforward.
- Many metalworkers prefer utilizing the plasma process to cut metal because it is safer than using a saw.
- In comparison to laser and oxygen cutting, the cutting operation is completed at a very high cutting speed.
- Plasma cutting equipment is substantially less expensive than CNC cutting equipment for large-scale industrial cutting.
- Lighter weight, smaller size, and portability.
- May cut underwater, reducing noise, and increasing HAZ.
- Costs are decreased and earnings are improved as a result of great operating efficiency and quick cutting abilities. Plasma cutting is more affordable than oxygen-gas cutting for metal sheets with a thickness of less than 25 mm.
- Using a plasma cutter can help you save a lot of money on investment costs because it produces almost no iron filings when cutting and almost no material wear and tear.
- It is possible to utilize the same machine for plasma welding by adjusting the parameters.
- Compared to ordinary cutters, the splash is much minimized. To conserve basic materials, produce less scrap.
Cons of Plasma Cutting
- Costs associated with production rise as a result of the regular replacement of electrodes, cutting tips, and nozzles.
- Non-metallic cutting objects cannot be cut using plasma.
- The quality of laser cutting is superior to that of thinner plate and sheet.
- As exact as laser cutting is, tolerances are not.
- Electric shocks and skin burns from this mechanical plasma cutter could be highly harmful for the cutter and anybody nearby if there is an electrical leak. Therefore, workers need must-have welding tools.
- Thick sheet metal will not cut effectively with plasma cutters. Therefore, for improved efficiency, the majority of cutters will adopt CNC plasma cutting equipment.
Frequently Asked Questions & Answers (Weld FAQ)
How is plasma cutting different from laser cutting?
While plasma cutting may cut metal sheets as thick as 150mm, laser cutting is often used to cut thin materials with a thickness of no more than 50mm.
The plasma cutting width typically ranges from 0.4 to 2mm, depending on the thickness of the material. In comparison to the laser, the cutting width is substantially wider.
After laser cutting, the product has a lovely surface with barely any thermal distortion. In the meantime, slurry is frequently left on the cutting surface during plasma cutting.
Because post-processing is not necessary with laser cutting, the cost is higher than with plasma cutting. The cost of labor is not less expensive than laser cutting technology, though, if you include the expense of cleaning the cutting surface or returning it for cleaning.
Is the plasma cutter easy to use?
Additionally straightforward and easy to use, the plasma machine. It is possible to operate the machine without the need for expert personnel by performing operations swiftly. Smoother and more attractive cuts will be present in the finished goods.
What cutting method should sheet metal use?
Given its superior cutting quality and speed, laser cutting ought to be the method of choice for sheet metal and thinner sheets. However, the laser cutter’s maximum limit is roughly 25…30 mm.
A contemporary and adaptable cutting device that excels at cutting thick metal items and is utilized in a variety of industries is the plasma cutter. The device must, however, be thoroughly understood by consumers in order to be used and used effectively.
What is Plasma Cutting? How it works, its uses as well as its advantages/disadvantages have been clearly mentioned above. We hope this article was helpful to you!