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Understand the Process of Plasma cutting

A cutting system that uses the heat generated by the arc created between the cutter and the electrode that is located inside a torch. The heat from the arc discharge converts a working gas into plasma that is the highest temperature. This heat is blown with a help of a nozzle and the material used as the cutter is placed in front of the nozzle to be cut.

Plasma Cutting

Understanding A Plasma 

When a gas is heated to a high temperature, the kinetic energy of the gas molecules increase because the particles collide heavily with each other. The negative ions are taken away and the positive ions collide with each other. Both the types of ions mix with each other and each charge offsets the other, which in turn produces a strong state of electricity that is neutral. This state is called plasma.

Advantages of Plasma cutting 

  • Rapid speed for cutting – The speed of plasma cutting is faster as compared to other types of cutting machine. It can cut up to 50 mm of steel very easily. Because of such rapid speed, the productivity in the cutting industry has increased considerably. In addition, this has enabled business to promise quicker delivery times to its customers.
  • Variety of materials can be cut easily – This system can penetrate both iron and non-iron type of metals. Moreover, the thickness of the materials can be cut vary from 50 mm to 80 mm. Overall, these cutting systems can cut all type of conductive materials.
  • Easy to handle – This requires very little training at the operator level. The torch can be easily handled and perfect cuts can be obtained almost immediately. This plasma cutting system is rugged and can work in any kind of rough production environment. In addition, these systems can work without any kind of complicated adjustments that are usually associated with other laser cutting systems.
  • Inexpensive – When compared to cutting with oxyfuel, plasma cutting is half the price of cutting metals with oxyfuels. This is the most inexpensive cutting method when it comes to cutting metals of 50 mm thickness.
  • Automation – The process that involves plasma cutting can be easily automated.
  • Underwater cutting – This is probably the only type of cutting that produces very efficient cuts underwater as well.
  • Safety – Plasma cutting systems are safe because they do not require any kind of flames to get an efficient cut.
  • Reliability – These systems are reliable because it uses a few parts. Using fewer parts improves the overall reliability factor of any kind of system. 

Disadvantages of Plasma cutting 

  • In spite of the advantages, plasma cutting comes with its own set of drawbacks as well.
  • Frequently replace the electrode in the cutter and the nozzle that generates heat, which in turn, adds to the overall cost of the operation.
  • Materials that are non-conductive, like wood or plastic, are not compatible with this system.
  • One more drawback is that the plasma cutting system, usually, leaves a big degree of bevel on the edge of the cut. This is invisible in thinner pieces but is visible in almost every type of thick material.
  • These cutting systems can be used on materials that measure up to 180 mm for dry cutting and 120 mm for underwater cutting. 
Even though oxyfuel cutting is still a widely used type of cutting, plasma cutting is growing rapidly and is becoming an alternative for oxyfuel cutting based on the number of reasons that are discussed above. The evolution of technology has built on the basic advantages offered by plasma cutting making it reliable for a different range of practical applications.

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