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Plasma Cutting - Why Is It The Best Metal Cutting Method?

by:SUMWIC Machinery     2020-04-29
Metal cutting is important for many businesses and industries. What used to be hard or near impossible to accomplish has now been made easy, thanks to the ever evolving technology. As we all know, metal is a super strong substance that is often seen in our everyday lives. What most of us don't realize is what these manufacturers, especially construction companies have gone through to find the best cutting system that can handle their work requirements. One of the most common cutting methods is Oxy-fuel which uses acetylene gas, propylene, LPG, hydrogen, natural gas or propane depending on the type of metal you're working on. It is the most preferred method to cut thick metals that are more than 1 inch in thickness, as it acts faster than plasma. However, when the reality dawned, it was later realized that stainless steel and aluminium could not be cut using the Oxy-fuel technique due to the chemical reaction that occurs when it comes in contact with oxygen. There Had To Be Better Ways So Laser and Plasma Cutters Were Found! Even though laser cutters are not as commonly used as plasma cutters, it still attracts a fair share of the overall international market. However, due to its expensive pricing and slowness in cutting certain materials, plasma machines have gain its ground and became almost the first choice for anyone that's going cut metals. There is another good reason for it too because while metals like stainless steel, aluminium and copper did not heed to the traditional laser cutting method, plasma cutter was effective on it. In fact, it's been known to be effective on all types of conductive metals. In plasma cutting, the gas input is determine by the type of metal you're going to be working on. They are fed and compressed into the nozzle and when they are released, they travel at extremely high speed and with the help of the input power, it generate an electric arc the moment they get in contact with air. The extreme heat transforms the gas into a different state known as plasma. During this procedure, the gas heats up so much that when the plasma jet touches the metal work piece, it literally travels through it and breaking it apart. While the flame heats up the metal, the speed or velocity of the plasma jet is what separates the metal elements. Are Plasma Cutters Suitable To Use on All Types of Metal? There are some theories about plasma cutter not able to cut certain metals, but this is never the case. By mixing and matching the right gases, this can be easily accomplished regardless the type of steel you're trying to cut! For example, argon and hydrogen form a good combination when it comes to cutting aluminium with a smooth edge. For cutting stainless steel, this mix also works well, however please note that there are other types of gases that can be used as well such as nitrogen. Before you work on any metal, it is highly recommended that you find out the metal group it belongs to, so that you can tune your machine to achieve the best result. Besides that, one of the most important factors to consider when using a plasma cutter is how thick the metal piece is. If it is a thick sheet, the cutter needs to be set to higher cutting capacity and voltage. However, if you are cutting thin sheets of say aluminium, care should be taken to keep the amps at the minimum, otherwise there is a possibility that the torch might tear off the sheet in an uneven manner. Also, the torch head needs to be kept at a considerable height to give room for a free movement and thereby avoiding the nozzle to be destroyed. Let's face it, metal cutting is not as simple as it looks. Buying the right machine to start with is one thing. Using it correctly on different surfaces and design is a completely different story. So, before you decide to go out and purchase a plasma cutter. Try to identify the metal type your work piece belongs to, the artwork or template you're trying to achieve, the thickness and finally, how much you are willing to spend! Based on some of the factors we've mentioned in this article, we can't see any reasons why you shouldn't use plasma as your first choice cutter. However, as we always tell people, the money is yours, the business is yours, so ultimately you are the boss in terms of what you want to use!
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