Many industries need to cut materials to create products. Since most of the products have conductive materials, it is easy to cut them with a plasma cutter. There are several uses of plasma cutting tools. They range from large-scale and small-scale uses. You can know the uses if you know the role of a plasma cutter and the benefits. So let’s discuss the uses and benefits of plasma cutting.
What is Plasma Cutting
Plasma cutting is the process of cutting conductive material with a stream jet of plasma. A plasma jet forms when ionized gas changes to the fourth state of matter.
Plasma cutting happens when a material is cut using a fast stream of hot plasma. The process ends when the plasma touches the workpiece and completes the circuit. The part that gets in contact with plasma melts away. Due to the speed of the plasma jet, the dirt that forms is blown away.
Plasma cutting is so smooth and accurate. It’s also swift when cutting thinner pieces of metal. However, each plasma cutter has a limit to the width it can cut. So when you increase the width, you’ll need to reduce the speed to get great results. But the quality of the cut will drop with a rise in width.
Plasma cutting works with steel, stainless steel, copper, brass, aluminum, and any other conductive metal. The largest uses are manufacturing, the motor industry (repair and restoration), scrapping and salvage, and industrial construction.
Functions of a Plasma Cutter
The primary role of a plasma cutter is to cut conductive materials. The plasma cutter cuts materials you can use for manufacturing. Also, most works need metals cut in various shapes. Mechanical cutting is quite hard to deal with large-scale production. Thus, there’s a need for faster cutting methods. Plasma cutting is one of the most rapid cutting methods in the market. The only barrier is the width limits each plasma cutter has.
Choose a cutter that takes in much of your work. The cutters can take in up to 25% above the width they can cut. All you need to do is reduce the speed of cutting. Be keen when cutting thicker materials. It ensures you don’t waste your raw materials.
If your goal is to get precise results, you should follow the proper steps to use the plasma cutter. First, you should select a location. Next, you need to place the cutter in a safe location. The area should give you room to move freely. The site should also be sturdy and stable to set a plasma cutting table. Finally, ensure the plug is switched off when you are plugging in the plasma unit. It helps to prevent accidents.
Connect to the air nozzle. The air source should have a compressor. It ensures that the plasma keeps high pressure. Proper fitting happens when you detach the flange from the female knob and attach it to the male connection.
Turn on the airflow. Ensure you turn the lever to 90 degrees to the air pipe. Then attach the ground clamp. It helps in ‘earthing’ to prevent electric shock during cutting. Turn on the device to check if it is working. Set the current to the level you need for cutting. You can proceed and cut your metal. Remember to turn it off after you finish. If it is an automatic cutter, you’ll leave it to continue cutting.
Industrial Applications of a Plasma Cutter
Plasma cutters can be manual or mechanized. Mechanized cutters are common in large firms. However, there are times that manual cutters are needed. The uses of plasma cutters include:
You can use these cutters in thin metal processing, welding and repairs, factory maintenance, and agricultural maintenance. Also, you can use them for construction works, metal service centers, trailer production, car repair, etc.
Manual cutters are best when you use them in small-scale production. You can have them in a large firm to run small-scale works. They are also useful in a home workshop and garages.
Mechanized Plasma Cutters
They are physically larger than manual cutters. Their strength is also higher. Many of them are designed to run for many hours. They cum with cutting tables where you place the workpiece. In most cases, the ground plate is attached to the working table.
You can integrate the plasma cutter with a robotic cutting, laser, or punching system. Thus, you can achieve smoother running of cutting and finishing processes.
There are several sizes of mechanized plasma cutters. They all depend on the size of the cutting table. Also, another factor is the size of the material the cutter should handle.
Various firms use plasma cutters as part of combination units. It helps the cutter to run unsupervised.
Benefits of Plasma Cutting
- You can operate more than one burner. It all depends on the series of plasma cutters you are using. The best plasma cutter for industrial applications is one that can use more than one burner. One burner cutter is best for small-scale uses.
- Plasma cutters are great for small and medium thicknesses. If the metal is thick, you can cut, but you’ll get a lower quality cut.
- They are excellent for conductive materials. Most industrial metals are conductive. Thus, you can use it in nearly all industries.
- Plasma cutters have a high cutting speed. The speed is ten times higher than oxy-fuel cutting speed.
- You can run a plasma cutter automatically. Thus, you reduce human interaction. In the end, you reduce accidents and increase profits.
- You can run a plasma cutter with water instead of air. Also, it ensures you minimize heat exposure. It also helps to reduce noise pollution.
- You cut high-strength steel with minimal heat input.
Plasma cutting systems have made industries run more smoothly. Tech has made it possible to run the cutting automatically. Thus, the processes are quicker, safer, and accurate. You can get a plasma cutter for different sizes of industries. Modern plasma cutters can run automatically. Thus, there is increased production. Also, the profit margins are pushed higher.