A plasma cutter is a precision tool that cuts through all metals of any size and thickness. Different amperes of the plasma cutter work on different sizes of metal. The tool sends current through a stream of inactive gas or compressed air.
Electrical current ionizes the gas, turning it into a hot plasma to cut through any size of metal. Knowing what a plasma cutter is used for is important for increased income.
Plasma cutters give clean results since they do not give off debris like saws that throw metal bits. For the user’s safety, a plasma cutter needs safety goggles to protect the user from electric arcs and pieces of metal. Hearing protectors, heavy gloves, proper footwear, and protective clothing are essential to prevent burns.
Functions of a plasma cutter
Artwork that involves working on metals
The tool is essential for metal artists in need of making clear cuts during their metalwork. Additionally, it allows the artist to cut out precise shapes. An artist uses the tool to create templates or stencils to use in other imaginative works.
Used by contractors
Plasma cutters are small in size and portable. Therefore, trade workers and contractors carry them to the field, which saves their time in carrying out tasks. The tool cuts steel at high speed, and with it, the job is smoother and faster. Plumbers, for example, use plasma cutters to cut clear edges of pipes that fit into each other well.
Cutting rusty or crapped metals is easy with a plasma cutter. It is easier when put into comparison with using other torch types. Mechanics need a plasma cutter to repair vehicles since they must cut scrap metals. Alternatively, farmers use the tool to repair tractors, fencing, and repairing water tanks.
Helps in the demolition and recycling of metals
When undoing or demolishing metal works, plasma cutters make the work quick. Compared to other tools, plasma cutters are not very messy because they leave behind little remains of rust. Users working in recycling industries or repair tools from used metals use a plasma cutter to accomplish their tasks.
Used in car and motorcycle building
Making serious metal enhancements for vehicles needs a plasma cutter. A vehicle owner of needs a plasma cutter to fix part of the car, which includes metalwork and does not need a mechanic. Similarly, a motorcycle owner uses a plasma cutter to cut metals when fixing a broken motorcycle part.
Helps in domestic works
Some works around your homestead do not necessarily need you to call a skilled person. Fixing a fence, for example, or a gutter is easier using a plasma cutter. Other domestic works that require plasma cutters include constructing chain-link fences, barbecues, and lawnmowers.
It is versatile
A plasma cutter cuts through different types of metal. Therefore, the tool cuts through any conductive metal, including steel, iron, copper, and aluminium. It cuts through quickly and easily, saving the user’s time and effort. Additionally, the tool cuts through metals piled on each other at high speed and without struggle.
The tool is easily portable.
Plasma cutters are movable from one place to another without a struggle. Therefore, users can easily transport the tool to any place when the demand arises. Additionally, using the tool to accomplish metal cutting is not a long process since the tool is easy to handle.
Saves time and energy
A plasma cutter makes metal work quick and easy compared to other cutting tools. There is no preheating required for the tool to start functioning. Consequently, it saves time by completing a task in a short period. Additionally, the user applies less effort to cut through metal than other cutting tools.
Produces a high-quality cut
A plasma cutter is precise and accurate, especially when cutting different sizes and angles of sheet metal. Unlike other cutting tools, the tool does not require an experienced or steady hand operator to make a correct cut. The cutter produces sure and correct results, meeting the user’s needs.
Low expenses when using the tool
A plasma cutter cuts through materials faster while producing less metal waste. Similarly, losses or expenses that result from injuries are small. Therefore, the user saves on high costs resulting from other cutting methods.
It has a high piercing speed.
The plasma cutter does not need inside piercing like other cutting tools. Additionally, Plasma does not need preheating and accomplishes the piercing task in less than two seconds.
How a plasma cutter works
A plasma cutter sends an electric current through a gas passing through a small opening. The gas may be nitrogen, oxygen, or even shop air. Passing through a small opening elevates the gas temperature to almost reach another state.
Scientists refer to the state as plasma since it is neither solid nor liquid nor gas. The metal cut is also part of the circuit, and the conductivity of the plasma transfers the current to the metal. The plasma’s high-speed results from the small opening it passes through. The gas has speed gas cuts through the molten metal and at the perimeter of the cut area.
Consequently, shielding of the cut occurs, which prevents damage to the other part of the metal.
Modern plasma cutters have an arc located between the electrode and the nozzle. The pilot arc ionizes the gas and generates a plasma before the arc transfer. Other methods include touching the torch tip to create a spark or using a starting circuit with a high frequency.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a plasma cutter used for?
A plasma cutter is an industrial tool used to cut through conductive materials like metals and alloys. It uses a focused high-energy plasma jet to melt and cut quickly and accurately.
How does a plasma cutter work?
It sends a compressed gas flow through a constricted opening and an electrical arc. This ionizes the gas into plasma, which is then forced out the nozzle at high speed, slicing through metal.
What thickness of metal can a plasma cutter cut?
Handheld plasma cutters can cut metal from 24 gauge to around 1/2 inch thickness. High-amperage industrial plasma cutters can cut metal over 1 inch thick.
What materials can you cut with a plasma cutter?
Plasma cutters can cut any electrically conductive metal, including stainless steel, mild steel, aluminium, brass, copper, and more, not for wood, plastic, stone, etc.
What air pressure do you need to operate a plasma cutter?
Most plasma cutters require a minimum of 70-80 PSI of constant air pressure. Ensure your compressor meets your plasma cutter’s CFM and pressure requirements.
What safety gear should be used with a plasma cutter?
Use eye protection, ear protection, flame-retardant clothing, leather gloves, steel-toe boots, and an appropriate respirator mask when plasma cutting.
What thickness can handheld plasma cutters handle?
Portable handheld plasma cutters generally max out at around 5/8 inch cut capacity for steel. Industrial machines are needed for cutting over 1-inch thickness.
What maintenance does a plasma cutter require?
Clean the air filters periodically. Test and replace worn consumable parts like electrodes, swirl rings, and nozzles. Clean excess dust/debris from the inside cutter.
What skills are needed to operate a plasma cutter?
Some skill is required to set up, configure settings, and smoothly guide the torch. Training courses are recommended to learn techniques. Experience improves precision.
What are the top plasma cutter brands?
The top brands are Miller, Lincoln Electric, Hypertherm, Hobart, Esab, Everlast, and Forney. Stick with established industrial equipment manufacturers.
The plasma cutter makes work easier while saving the user’s time and energy. Cutting metal with an ordinary tool is not simple and may need great effort. A plasma cutter relieves users of working on metals because it makes work easy and fast. Additionally, there are no accidents when using a plasma cutter; in any case, if one occurs, it is minor and does not need a lot of cash to treat.
Since plasma requires preheating, the user starts working on the metal immediately, saving time. Additionally, the plasma cutter does not find it hard to cut even through hard metals. Therefore, with the tool, you can quickly work on any metal type.