Plasma cutting process uses high velocity as well as high temperature ionized gas along with an arc, to cut different types of materials.
Plasma cutting process
Plasma cutting torches have high-speed ionized gas that conducts electricity, which is used to heat the workpiece and eventually melt the material. While the purpose of the arc is to melt the material with high heat, the function of the gas is to blow the liquid material from the pieces and cut the material. Because of the power of plasma, you get clean pieces with little or no slag at all. Plasma arcs have speeds of up to 20,000 feet per second (which are more than 13,000 miles per hour!) While temperatures are as high as 30,000ºF.
Different types of Plasma cutting machines
Plasma cutting machines are available in a variety of types such as plasma torches, plasma torches, and plasma cutters. Compressed air or nitrogen is used as a cutting gas in plasma cutting torches. The torches have a narrow-width kerf along with a water-cooled electrode. Plasma torches use a high-temperature gas stream, which is produced by passing the gas through an electric arc discharge. The plasma torch has two electrodes that are metallic and tubular in nature. The electrical arc flows between the negative or positive electrodes. Plasma cutters are specially used for cutting steel and materials that conduct electricity.
Advantages of Plasma cutting machines
- They provide high-quality cuts and fast travel speeds.
- It is a low-cost process for short runs as no physical tooling is required.
- A cost-effective option for thick metal sheets.
- As compared to laser cutting can cut thicker sheets.
- It can be used to cut a wide variety of geometric shapes along with 2D shapes that do not require too much precision.
The process can be used on ferrous and non-ferrous metals and requires only software tooling. It helps to reduce cost by reducing total cut length. At times, some warping may occur on complex parts. The cut edge is somewhat roughened and may show the presence of an oxide layer. Further, the plasma cut surface may not be precisely perpendicular to the surface of sheet material.