CNC Plasmas

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    CNC Plasmas

    When you’re looking for plasma-cutting capability in your metals shop, it’s because you recognize that a plasma torch is able to deliver a clean cut in hard materials. But what is plasma gas, and how does it create a different process than the usual oxy-fuel torch?

    Plasma is so hot that the electrons have been stripped from their orbital shells, making it possible to create an electric arc through it. The gas can come from several sources to create oxygen plasma, nitrogen plasma, air compressor plasma, or argon hydrogen plasma, each of which has its own benefits for different purposes. The plasma machine acts as an electrical channel. It transfers an electrical arc through the hottest plasma stream that delivers high cutting speed and a clean cut, even through thick material. However, as with a stick welder, you are limited to using conductive metal, and cutting power stops at one to two inches, depending on the materials you’re using. Thicker metals may require a different technique.

    What to Use a Plasma Cutter For

    Equally functional on metal plate as sheet metal, a plasma arc cutter works great on conductive materials. These include but are not limited to:

    • Carbon Steel
    • Stainless Steel
    • Mild Steel
    • Expanded Steel
    • Cast Iron
    • Aluminum
    • Copper
    • Brass

    Using a Plasma Cutter for the First Time

    Whether you’re getting a stand-alone plasma cutter or a CNC plasma cutting machine, using your cutter for the first time can be a complex process. To prepare your shop, make sure that you’re prepared for the high temperatures you’ll experience with appropriate fire safety equipment in place. Why? Plasma gas is basically what makes up the sun’s surface, a cool 10,000ºF compared to a plasma arc’s 45,000ºF so it’s definitely hot to work with. By comparison, a stick welder reaches 10,000-15,000ºF, while an oxy-fuel torch tops out at around 5,730ºF with acetylene. As with all welding, molten metal is also a concern.

    Obviously, with this kind of high heat, there will be some number of consumable parts, such as the copper nozzle parts life that feed oxygen plasma gas or other types of gases through the system to form a plasma jet, as well as those that may handle a secondary gas, such as a shielding gas. Keep extras on hand so that you can quickly change them out, especially during the first period of operation where they may need replacement at greater frequency.

    Benefits of Buying a Used Plasma Cutter from The Equipment Hub

    Whether you’re looking for a CNC plasma cutter that can handle the entire process for you, an inverter plasma cutter, or a specific type such as a Hypertherm Powermax, The Equipment Hub can provide you with a used plasma cutter that will deliver strong results for less capital investment. You’ll get a great piece of equipment without paying depreciation on new machinery. Check out the CNC plasma cutters that we have available and contact us with any questions.