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Industrial Plasma Cutter: How It Works Although a plasma cutter is a tool that isn’t as familiar as common tools we use, it is something that the industrial setting looks upon as essential, especially in dealing with metal and steel. And considering you’re making the effort to read this article, it is perhaps because you’re in some way tasked to buy a plasma cutter or maybe you were instructed to learn what it really does. First of all, before you get to learn what this tool does, you need to understand what plasma is. What you learned or heard from your science teacher back in school is true: plasma is really the fourth state of matter. Typically, when heat levels are increased in a particular scenario, the state of matter, say from liquid, will turn to gas. But if the heat level in gas is once again increased, the same gas will be ionized and becomes electronically conductive. And when this happens, the state of matter proceeds to plasma. So how does the plasma cutter use this process for industrial purposes? For this particular tool to work, there’s a need to use the electrically conductive gas so as to transfer energy from the power supply to a conductive material. The result is something that provides faster and quicker cutting process compared to traditional oxyfuel use.
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A plasma cutting system has several different components. This includes the power supply, arc starting console, and the plasma torch, among others. The power supply works by converting either a single or three phase AC line voltage into a constant DC voltage from 200 and up to 400 VDC. The DC voltage in turn acts as the one that maintains the plasma arc in the entirety of the cutting process.
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On the other hand, the arc circuit will be the one that will produce the spark inside of the plasma torch and in turn create the plasma arc necessary for cutting. The plasma torch for its part will be providing the proper alignment and cooling of the consumables. The term, “consumables” mean the parts that are needed for the generation of the plasma arc, and they include the electrode, nozzle, and swirl ring. On the other hand, there are instances when additional layer of shielding cap is required in the cutting process for the purpose of improving the quality of the same. It is worthy to note as well that all the parts of the tool are to be held together using both inner and outer retaining caps. Lastly, should you be given the job to purchase a plasma cutter, you must know that your two main options are the conventional and the precision plasma cutter. As their terms suggests, expect the conventional type to be more affordable than the precision type; but the latter is definitely the one you need if you need to perform the sharpest and highest quality cuts.