What Is a Plasma Cutter? What Does It Do? Your Free Guide!
What Is a Plasma Cutter and What Does It Do?
Many jobs and professions may benefit from a plasma cutter, but you won’t find one in the average home toolkit. That doesn’t mean it isn’t an essential tool for many tasks and professions, though.
Professionals of all types rely on plasma cutters to cut metal because they are one of the most valuable tools for the task. As a result, specialists from many walks of life employ and benefit from them.
While this is not a typical item for home renovation projects, some suitable craftsmen and craftswomen will want it. That’s why we’re going to take a look at what plasma cutter can do and how you can go about finding the best one for your needs!
What Is a Plasma Cutter?
A plasma cutter is a machine that uses an electric arc to heat and ionize gas, which is then forced through a small nozzle to create a plasma beam. First, the metal is heated to the point that it becomes semi-gaseous, and then the plasma cutter uses compressed air passed through the hose at very high velocities to cut through metals.
Inert gases, including compressed air, are utilized in the plasma cutter. An electric arc is established through the gas to the working object, converting part of the gas into plasma, and a hot enough plasma is used to cut metal and release molten metal from the cut.
A plasma cutter would often be used in place of the welder in many situations. And for good reason: a plasma cutter is much faster at cutting than a welder.
You can learn even more about it by heading here.
What Can a Plasma Cutter Cut?
It is possible to cut mild steel and non-ferrous metals less than 2 inches thick with a plasma cutter. The following are some of its advantages:
⦁ Ease of use
⦁ High cutting precision
⦁ High speed and low operating costs (especially when compared to water jets and lasers).
Both thick and thin materials may be cut using plasma cutting. Here at Best Plasma Cutter USA, our plasma systems’ cutting capacity is 50mm/2 for mild steel and up to 150 mm/6” for special stainless steel applications.
What Is a Plasma Cutter Used for?
As plasma cutters produce a scorching and focused cutting area, they are perfect for cutting metal in curved or angular shapes. Plasma cutters are often used in fabrication and manufacturing industries as they can quickly and easily cut through materials like steel, aluminum, brass, and copper.
In addition to being used for industrial applications, plasma cutters can also be utilized for more delicate tasks such as fabricating body panels or trimming metal. They can also be used for more creative endeavors, such as creating sculptures and metal art.
At Best Plasma Cutter USA, we offer a wide range of plasma cutter machines that are perfect for both industrial and personal applications. Our machines are easy to use and offer high precision and speed when cutting through metal. We also have a wide range of accessories and parts that are perfect for expanding the functionality of your plasma cutter.
What Is a Plasma Cutter Arc Cutting System
The Plasma Arc Cutting System comprises three fundamental components: the power supply, the arc start circuit, and the burner. These components provide the electricity, ionization ability, and process control required to create high-quality plasma arcs for effective cutting.
The power supply is the system’s heart, providing the high-amperage, low-voltage power to create the plasma arc. The arc start circuit ionizes the gas and starts the plasma arc. The burner provides a stable platform for the plasma arc and ensures that the correct gas pressure and flow are maintained.
The primary function of the power supply is to provide the energy to create the plasma arc. Therefore, the power supply must be able to handle the high current and voltage requirements of the plasma cutter. It also needs to have a low impedance so that it can easily start the arc.
The Arc Start Circuit is a high-frequency generator circuit that generates an AC voltage of 5,000 to 10,000 volts at around 2 MHz. Inside the burner, the voltage ionizes the gas and creates plasma. The discharge nozzle and electrode are clamped to keep the plasma jet stable.
Why Would Someone Use a Plasma Cutter?
The simple answer? Well, it’s to primarily cut metal. However, it’s not just limited to that as it can also do things like:
It’s these added functionalities that make it a popular choice in fabrication and manufacturing. Plus, with the precision and speed it offers, it can easily outdo other traditional cutting methods.
If you have extremely thin or thick metal, a plasma cutter is not the correct tool for the job. If the metal is too thin, the plasma cutter will be too powerful and won’t work; if the metal is too thick, it won’t function correctly and could cause your plasma cutter to break.
Plasma cutters are excellent for cutting a long line in a piece of metal that is the correct width, which is usually around one inch. They can also be used to cut more precise forms, especially under the control of an expert operator.
How Does a Plasma Cutter Work?
A plasma cutter is not a complicated tool, but it might be challenging to comprehend at first since there are many moving parts. However, when you’ve got an understanding of how it works, you’ll be able to use it more confidently and effectively.
Traditional and CNC, or Computer Numerical Control, are the two types of plasma cutters:
⦁ CNC, which stands for Computer Numerical Control, means that someone has programmed the pattern into a computer that controls the cutter. The computer determines where the metal is cut rather than the person.
⦁ Traditional, on the other hand, is a more manual process that involves a hand-held torch that the user moves around the metal.
Both methods achieve similar results, as long as the operator is skilled and knowledgeable in how to use a plasma cutter.
Why Choose a Plasma Cutter for Your Job?
Many benefits come with using a plasma cutter as your go-to metal cutting tool. It’s precise, fast, and easy to use – making it perfect for both experts and beginners. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Let’s explore some other reasons why you should consider using a plasma cutter:
⦁ Speed: A plasma cutter is fast. Very fast. It can cut through a piece of metal in seconds, which is why it’s often the go-to choice for industrial use.
⦁ Control: As the speed and precision of a plasma cutter increases, the level of control you have over the cut also improves. This makes it easier to create clean and accurate cuts – no more worrying about ruining your material.
⦁ Clean: Plasma cutters produce a cleaner cut than any other traditional methods. This is due to the high-frequency arc that melts the metal, which then evaporates and leaves a smooth edge.
⦁ Inexpensive: In the long run, a plasma cutter is much more affordable than other traditional cutting methods. Not to mention, it’s easier and faster to use, so you’ll save time and money in the process.
How Big Is a Plasma Cutter?
The size of a plasma cutter can vary depending on the type and model. However, most portable plasma cutters are about the size of a toolbox and weigh around 15 pounds. This makes it easy to transport and use in a variety of settings.
Large industrial plasma cutters can be much bigger, weighing in at around 200 pounds. While they’re not as portable, they offer more power and precision for larger projects.
Sample Jobs for Which You Need a Plasma Cutter
So, now that you know the answer to questions like ”what is a plasma cutter” and ”what is a plasma cutter used for?” It’s time to see where this tool can be a valuable addition to your workshop or business.
Just some of the many people who can benefit from using a plasma cutter include:
⦁ Tradespeople: Plasma cutters are essential tools for many tradespeople. They’re helpful in cutting sheet metal without taking parts back into their shops while working on repairs in HVAC and Refrigeration Technology.
⦁ Plumbers: Plumbers tend to use plasma cutters to cut copper, brass, and aluminum piping and tubing. They find that the cutter makes clean, straight cuts and leaves a smooth surface on the pipe, eliminating any additional grinding or finishing.
⦁ Contractors: Finally, contractors and builders use plasma cutters to make precision cuts in various materials. With its ability to quickly and easily cut through many materials, the plasma cutter is an indispensable tool for any contractor or builder.
But plasma cutters are not only for complex tasks and professions. For example, did you know that some artists also utilize plasma cutters in their work?
These artists operate plasma cutters to produce one-of-a-kind, amazing images on metal surfaces. Their works are marketed and exhibited in galleries worldwide, including some museums.
Even hobbyists have employed plasma cutters. Using a plasma cutter, they brand logos, creative expressions, or other ornamental designs into metal; you may have seen their goods for sale at farmers’ markets.
In this article, we covered ”What is a plasma cutter?” and ”What is a plasma cutter used for?” We also looked at some of the different applications for which a plasma cutter can be used. But now the real question is, are you ready to try out a plasma cutter for yourself?
With all its benefits, there’s no doubt that this versatile tool can be a valuable addition to your workshop or business. So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring the possibilities today!
Most frequently asked questions and answers:
Q1. What Is a Plasma Cutter and How Does It Work?
A plasma cutter sends an electric arc through a gas, passing through a restricted opening.
Q2. What Is a Plasma Cutter Used for?
Plasma cutters are precise cutting tools that can cut a wide range of metals and thicknesses. They’re helpful in a variety of sectors. Different amps are required for various cutting demands, such as fewer amps are needed to cut ¼” sheet metal than 1″ steel.
Q3. What Kind of Gas do You Use With a Plasma Cutter?
When cutting thicker stainless steel or aluminum, argon gas is frequently used. When cutting thinner stainless steel or aluminum, some people use a combination of hydrogen and nitrogen, methane and nitrogen, or hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
Q4. Do You Need An Air Compressor for a Plasma Cutter?
One of the most significant criteria for a good cut using a plasma cutter is adequate air pressure to propel the plasma out of the cut.
Q5. What Is Needed for Plasma Cutting?
The Electrode, Swirl Ring, and Nozzle are the main consumable components required for plasma arc generation. An Inner Retaining Cap, as well as an Outer Retaining Cap, is used to hold all of the pieces together. You can find everything you need right here at Best Plasma Cutters USA.