The plasma cutter can definitely be called a “wonder tool”. It is one of the most powerful tools to be developed in the 20th century. Using the principles of physics and utilizing plasma, the fourth state of matter, the working of the plasma cutter is almost magical.
How the Plasma Cutter Functions?
The working of the plasma cutter table is quite simple. An electric arc generated by an external power supply is sent through pressurized gas such as shop air, oxygen, nitrogen or argon, which is passed through a tiny narrow opening or a nozzle. This raises the temperature of the gas to a point where it turns into plasma. This is called a “plasma jet”. The metal that is being cut becomes a part of the circuit and the electrical conductivity of the plasma transfers the electric arc to the metal. This plasma jet reaches temperatures of around 40,000°F which gives it the capability to cut through metal.
Another method of plasma cutting is when a negatively charged electrode is located in the centre of the channel of the plasma cutter. When power reaches the negative electrode and the tip of the nozzle touches the metal, a circuit is created. A very strong spark is generated between the metal and the electrode. When the gas passes through the channel, the gas is heated by the spark till plasma is formed. The plasma that is created by the reaction is at a very high temperature and speed and can cut through metal very easily.
Components of a Plasma Cutter
- Power Supply: The power supply ensures that a constant DC voltage of 200-400 VDC is provided. This DC voltage helps to maintain the plasma arc throughout the cutting process. It also regulates the current output on the basis of the thickness and type of material being cut.
- Arc Starting Console (ASC): The ASC generates an AC voltage which produces the spark inside the plasma torch to create the plasma arc.
- Plasma Torch: The plasma torch provides proper alignment and cooling to various parts that generate the plasma arc i.e. the electrode, nozzle and swirl ring. A shielding cap may also be used to improve the cut quality further. All the parts are held together by inner and outer caps.
When you cut metal using a saw, there is plenty of debris of metal fragments left behind. Other types of torches leave bits of metal on the cut edge. As compared to these, plasma cutters cut very cleanly and precisely leaving behind very little debris, earning a very special place in a worker’s toolkit. PlasmaCNC offer a range of plasma cutters, paired with our tables, enables you to cut with precision and efficiency.