Do you know what plasma cutting is? For the average person, such a term wouldn’t make sense. To the initiated, however, plasma cutting is quite familiar.
Plasma cutting makes light work of cutting several materials, especially in the automotive industry.
Such objects would include materials like aluminum, copper, and stainless steel. Where then does a plasma cutter come in?
To achieve this, you have to use a high quality plasma cutter. A plasma cutter is a device you use to cut through objects with hot compressed air. If you want to cut through some metal, then a plasma cutter would come in handy.
But how does a plasma cutter work? Before we get to that, let’s shed some light on what plasma cutting entails and where it comes in handy.
What is Plasma Cutting?
Plasma cutting is simply the process by which you use hot compressed air to rip or cut right through electrically conductive objects such as aluminum and steel.
It is quite cost-friendly and, as a result, is used on a large scale for significant industrial needs. The high-speed precision woks in favor of plasma cutting as a widely revered style of hastening industrial processes.
Fabrication shops, scrapping shops, the automotive industry, and the restoration industry are just some industries that use the process.
How Is the Plasma Cutting Process Done?
Plasma cutting involves passing electrically ionized gas on the material you are cutting to divide it into two. Such gases would include oxygen and inert gases.
The gas used is usually dependent on the material of the object you will be cutting. This super-heated gas passed through a channel to the material you are working on is termed plasma. Hence the name plasma cutting.
The air is remarkably compressed, then passed through a nozzle at a very high speed to generate the necessary force to cut through the material. The moving air between the nozzle and the material you are cutting creates a plasma channel.
Electrical power is needed to provide extreme temperatures that melt the piece you are working on, thereby cutting it when merged with the compressed air.
The compressed air, together with the heat, leaves the nozzle in a spark or flame. That is because electric power makes the air conductive and can create a pilot arc to cut through the metal.
Plasma cutting can work on either thin or thick material. The speed at which you can do that depends on how thick the material is.
However, to do all that, you’d need a piece of equipment known as a plasma cutter. So then how would you go about using the plasma cutter? Let’s find out.
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How Does A Plasma Cutter Work?
This equipment works by passing an arc of electric power via a gas going through a hugely squeezed opening. As earlier mentioned, inert gases and oxygen are the most highly used gases for the process.
Passing the gas through the constricted opening at top speed makes it attain an altogether new state of matter that isn’t among the three commonly known states. This state is called the plasma state.
The plasma state makes it possible for the gas to create an electrical arc capable of melting most metallic materials.
Most plasma cutters of the modern age initially ionize the gas within the machine to create the plasma state before transferring the electric arc. You make the connection work whenever you press the plasma cutters trigger.
Pressing the trigger gets an electric current from the power source to initiate the flow of plasma gas. As soon as this flow builds up enough pressure, it forces its way out of the nozzle parting the nozzle and the electrode.
This parting of the nozzle and the electrode creates an electrical spark that changes the compressed air into a red-hot jet of air moving at top speed.
As long as the user has their hands on the trigger, the current will keep flowing and create the electric flow that forces out the compressed air.
Therefore, a plasma cutter is a device that powers so many industrial processes that would be otherwise impossible to do.
Imagine trying to cut through metal with a saw. That would take you ages to complete, too, not to mention the physical fatigue that would come with it. Therein lies the reason why plasma cutting has been such a success.
The best part is that it is relatively inexpensive to set up and use.
So, how does a plasma cutter work? If you’ve read till here, then we are sure you have the answer to that, don’t you? See how simple a process it is?