Making The Most Out of Roller Plasma Cutting ToolBlog | July 28th, 2022
Gain an understanding of the maximum cutting capacity of a plasma cutter, how to choose the appropriate tip selection, the advantages of utilising a guide, and how travel speed impacts cutting performance.
To help you improve your technique for cutting with a plasma cutter, here are some tips and methods that are often used in the industry.
What is Plasma Cutting?
Because plasma cutting is so much more efficient, straightforward, and flexible than oxy-fuel cutting, many individuals have put their oxy-fuel cutting sets to one side and only use them when they need to warm metal. An electrical arc interacts with gas, most often air, to generate a high-temperature plasma arc during the plasma cutting process. This plasma arc runs from an electrode to the workpiece, which can be any electrically conductive substance, and cuts through the material.
Plasma cutting offers several benefits that are not shared by other kinds of cutting, such as mechanical or oxy-fuel cutting. On steel with a thickness of 3/8 inches, plasma can cut at a rate of up to 75 inches per minute. With the plasma cutter, a cut that would have taken between seven and eight minutes to complete with an oxy-fuel torch was completed in only three minutes and ten seconds.
If you went with a plasma cutter instead of an acetylene cutter, you wouldn’t have to worry about how to securely carry and store the acetylene. A smaller and more exact kerf (the breadth of the cut), no preheat time, a smaller heat-affected zone, and the ability to cut any type of electrically conductive metal, including aluminium, brass, copper, titanium, and galvanised steel, are some of the other advantages of this method.
Begin With the Right Equipment on Hand
Making sure you have the appropriate equipment for your endeavours is the first step in maximising the usefulness of your plasma cutter. The cutting capability of each of our plasma cutters is how we rank them. The thickness of mild steel that can be correctly cut based on a constant travel speed of 10 inches per minute is referred to as a rated capacity. A severe cut is a maximum cut that the unit is capable of achieving under optimal conditions while travelling at slower speeds. Spend some time reading the owner’s handbook for your device. It provides vital information on how to use your plasma cutter safely while also maximising its potential benefits. Then make sure the handbook is close at hand so that you and others may consult it as necessary. The following material is not intended to serve as a substitute for reading through the handbook in its entirety.
Intelligence Is on the Tip
Tips converge on the workpiece to direct the plasma. Tips should be matched to the power settings you expect to use to extend their life. For thinner materials, a low-amp tip has a narrower aperture to maintain a narrow plasma stream at lower voltages. When working with patterns or cutting in tight spaces, extra-long cutting tips come in handy. The arc can remove a significant volume of material in a single pass thanks to gouging tips, which widen the plasma stream and remove a big amount of material at once.
When cutting with clean dry air and making larger cuts, you should expect to receive about two hours of uninterrupted cutting time. This can induce double arcing and shorten the tip’s lifespan by creating an additional path for the current to take. Cutting capacity is reduced when the cutting tip is moved too far away from the workpiece. Keep a 1/8-inch gap between the tip and the workpiece when using a fine-tip tool. For pattern cutting and shaky hands, a drag shield that connects to the torch and holds its tip-off of the workpiece ensures a constant 1/8 in a standoff.
Incorporate a Guide
Clamp a straight edge to the work item to guide the torch for even more accuracy. Templates are useful when you need to cut the same form again. Check to see if the guide can burn. There are recommendations for straight and circular cuts as well.
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