Plasma Cutter Blog

Plasma Cutter Blog

The Plasma Cutter Blog dives into plasma cutting’s groundbreaking technology. It starts with the basics: a plasma cutter melts metal for cutting with a high-temperature plasma arc. The blog also covers the wide variety of materials it can cut, like steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and their alloys. It highlights the cutter’s precision across different materials. The post further explores plasma cutters’ broad use in industries such as shipbuilding, automotive, construction, and machinery. It underscores their role in boosting production efficiency and improving cut quality, pushing forward industrial progress.

What Is a Plasma Cutter?

A plasma cutter simplifies metal cutting, whether you’re working with sheet steel or fabrication parts. Available as handheld or mechanized units, these cutters use an electrical current to create an arc. This arc cuts through materials quickly and accurately, making plasma cutters a top choice in many industries. If you’re interested in the history and development of plasma cutting, we invite you to learn more. Known for its precision and efficiency, the plasma cutter excels in industrial metal cutting. Click here

plasma table

What is a Plasma Cutter Used For?

Plasma cutter machine can cut all types of metal components. It works well for both shop cutting of sheet steel and aluminum and for de-commissioning tanks and rail tracks on-site. This tool cuts mild and stainless steel, aluminum, copper, and brass effectively, as it’s suitable for conductive metals. It handles thicknesses from a slim 1-2mm to a hefty 150mm in certain situations! More details check Plasma cutter Application

What Can You Do With a Plasma Cutter?

The primary function of a plasma cutter is to cut metal. Fabrication shops and automotive repair businesses heavily rely on them. Industrial construction and structural steel companies also use plasma cutters for large-scale projects, cutting and fabricating massive beams or metal sheets. Locksmiths turn to plasma cutters for drilling into safes and vaults during lockouts. Scrap and salvage operators apply plasma technology in their scrapping processes. Artists, craftsmen, and metalworkers employ handheld cutters to craft unique art pieces, impossible with traditional tools. This versatile tool allows operators to make bevel cuts, drill precise holes, and perform nearly any cut they envision.


How Does a Plasma Cutter Work?

Plasma cutters function by propelling an electric arc through a stream of gas, forced through a tight nozzle. This process begins when the device sends an electric current through a gas (often air, nitrogen, or argon), which becomes ionized and turns into plasma. As this ionized gas passes through the constricted nozzle, its speed increases dramatically. It’s this high-speed plasma that then makes contact with the metal, melting it at the point of contact and thus cutting through it. The efficiency and precision of this method make plasma cutters indispensable tools in metalworking, allowing for clean cuts through various types of metal with minimal effort.

Does a Plasma Cutter Need Compressed Air?

Lower current plasma cutters commonly use compressed air, making them ideal for cutting thinner materials ranging from gauge size to 2.5 cm thick. Often referred to as shop air, compressed air powers some plasma cutters that come with a built-in compressor.

How Much Air Does a Plasma Cutter Need?

The material and thickness you’re cutting, along with the plasma cutter model, determine your needs. However, every plasma cutter’s owner’s manual specifies the minimum air flow and pressure requirements, which vary between systems. For instance, the Hypertherm Powermax 45 needs 6 cubic feet per minute (cfm) at 90 psi. Plasma cutters consume a lot of air, especially for longer cuts, so ensure your compressor can meet your plasma cutter’s demands.

Plasma power source

Does a Plasma Cutter Use Gas?

Yes a plasma cutter uses either one gas or a mixture of gases. The gas can be shop air, nitrogen, argon, oxygen or a mixture. An electric arc is sent through the gas that is passing through a constricted opening. 

What Gas is Needed for a Plasma Cutter?

Fabricators often select plasma systems capable of using “dual-gas” or “multi-gas,” allowing for a range of plasma and shield gases suitable for different applications. These multi-gas torches provide maximum flexibility for shops cutting various materials. The choice of gas depends on the material type and thickness, aiming to optimize cut quality, part longevity, productivity, and cost-effectiveness. However, plasma system manuals can overwhelm operators with complex cut charts and numerous gas options.

What Can a Plasma Cutter Cut Through?

A plasma cutter slices through electrically conductive materials. Mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum rank as the three most common materials it cuts. However, it also efficiently cuts copper, brass, and any other conductive metal.

Can I Cut Cast Iron with a Plasma Cutter?

Plasma effectively cuts through any material that conducts electricity. It easily slices through cast iron, steel, copper, and other conductive metals.

Can I Cut Aluminium with a Plasma Cutter?

Plasma cuts aluminum excellently. However, the raw edges from plasma cutting aren’t ideal for welding due to oxides. You must also carefully select your gas.

Can You Use a Plasma Cutter on Aluminium?

To cut aluminum with a plasma cutter, use nitrogen or a mix with oxygen. This improves cut quality and extends part life. The right gases give you a nice edge on aluminum. Oxidization is a main issue, but technology advances help. A plasma cutter can cut aluminum. Seek advice to fine-tune the process.

Can You Weld with a Plasma Cutter?

Some plasma cutters offer multi-function capabilities, including MMA and TIG welding, often referred to as a 3-in-1. Professional workshops do not favor them. You should consider them only for very occasional use. Buying separate systems is a much better choice.

How Thick Can You Cut with a Plasma Cutter?

Once you start to get into the nitty gritty of a plasma cutter’s features, maximum cut thickness is going to be the first specification that you’ll want to check. It refers to the ideal upper limit on metal thickness that you can cut comfortably while still achieving smooth lines. The maximum thickness a plasma cutter can cut is 150mm. You would probably use a cnc plasma cutting table with mechanised torches to cut 6in thick heavy steel plate.

How Hot is a Plasma Cutter?

The plasma’s temperature exceeds 20,000°C, and its velocity can approach the speed of sound. In cutting applications, operators increase the plasma gas flow. This action enables the deep-penetrating plasma jet to slice through material. The process removes molten material with the outgoing plasma. 

How Hot is a Plasma Cutting Flame?

The intense heat from a plasma cutter can reach 20,000 degrees Celsius, or 45,000 Fahrenheit. This heat is hot enough to instantly vaporize your fingers. With a velocity nearing the speed of sound, this machine poses significant dangers.

How Long Do Plasma Cutter Tips Last?

Predicting when to replace your nozzle and electrode is challenging. The need depends on cutting speed, workpiece thickness, and amperage used. However, replacing both at the same time is wise. Choose based on which wears out first. This approach restores optimum cutting performance. Using a new electrode with a worn nozzle leads to poor and inconsistent cuts.

nozzel and electrode

Can You Get Flash Burn from a Plasma Cutter?

A plasma cutting arc emits a wide range of electromagnetic radiation. This spectrum spans from Infrared light (IR) through the visible range and into Ultra Violet (UV). The intensity of plasma cutting arcs is high, with arc currents ranging from 100 to 800 Amperes. Looking directly at such an intense arc can cause eye damage. This damage may include permanent harm leading to blindness.

How Does a CNC Plasma Cutter Work?

A CNC plasma cutting system uses a computer-controlled plasma torch to cut materials. CNC stands for Computer Numerical Control. This means the computer directs the machine’s movements using numerical codes in a program. Accurate and high-quality edge cuts in metal fabrication projects require a CNC plasma cutter.

Unlike handheld torches, a mechanized plasma torch is straight and mounted on a profile cutting table. CNC plasma cutting cuts through electrically conductive materials like steel, aluminum, brass, and copper. It uses a jet of hot plasma directed at the material.

These cutters come in various sizes, prices, and capabilities. They are precise and can slice through metals at speeds up to 500 inches per minute. Plasma cutters need plasma gas and an assist gas, depending on the material cut.

Plasma cutters, unlike many hobby CNC systems, require a lot of space and good ventilation for safe operation.

cnc plasma cutting machine factory has nearly 15 years of experience providing quality new and used plasma cutters in the China and internationally. We have new, used, and refurbished plasma cutting systems, profile cutters, and CNC plate cutters in stock. For more details or questions, contact our team today.

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