The various components of the cooling system in a plasma cutter are designed in such a way to ensure that the volumetric flow rate is adequate for torch cooling. Each plasma torch has an exact flow requirement that is specified in the operator’s manual. There are some important steps to be followed to ensure that the coolant flow is proper and troubleshooted in case there are any flow problems.
Steps to Troubleshoot Cooling Systems
Removing the Plasma Torch Parts: Begin with the plasma torch when you are troubleshooting. Remove the parts and look for signs of contamination, overheating or damage.
Turning on the Coolant Pump: When turned on, the coolant should directly flow out of the centre of the cooling tube in the plasma torch.
Measuring Coolant Supply to the Plasma Torch: Using a container, collect the coolant being discharged from the torch’s cooling tube. Collect the coolant for about 30 seconds and switch off the pump. Measure the volume and convert it into the flow rate. Compare this to the flow rate specified in the operator’s manual.
The flow in a torch without any parts should be more than the specifications of the manufacturer and if it is not, then you must check if the pump pressure is too low and adjust the same, clean the screen filter in the pump if it is clogged. If the torch or the supply line to the torch is clogged, then you can blow out the debris by making use of compressed air or replacing it.
Reassembling the Plasma Torch: Once the parts are clean, then reassemble the torch and ensure that they are in the proper place before you check the flow.
Measuring the Return Flow of Coolant: The rate of coolant flow must be measured when it returns to the coolant reservoir also. The plastic hose connected to the coolant tank should be disconnected. Use a container and again collect the water for 30 seconds and switch off the pump. Compare the rate of flow to the specification in the manual. If the flow rate does not exceed the specification, then check if the pressure of the pump is too low and adjust the setting. Check if the torch or the return coolant line is restricted and blow out if there is any debris with compressed air, or replace it. Check if the radiator is blocked and clean by using a high-pressure wash or replace and if the filter paper is blocked, remove temporarily to troubleshoot, or replace it.
For the proper working of your plasma torch, the various components of the torch should be cooled properly. If there is any problem with the coolant flow in the plasma torch, it must be attended to immediately. However, before you do attempt to troubleshoot or perform any maintenance on your plasma system, do read the operator’s manual carefully and understand all safety precautions.