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Industrial Plasma Cutter: How It Works

Although a plasma cutter is a tool that isn’t as familiar as common tools we use, it is something that the industrial setting looks upon as essential, especially in dealing with metal and steel. And considering you’re making the effort to read this article, it is perhaps because you’re in some way tasked to buy a plasma cutter or maybe you were instructed to learn what it really does. First of all, before you get to learn what this tool does, you need to understand what plasma is.

You probably have heard your science teacher in school years back about plasma being the fourth state of matter, right? Typically, when heat levels are increased in a particular scenario, the state of matter, say from liquid, will turn to gas. But if the same heat is once again increased, it will eventually ionize gases, making them electrically conductive. In this scenario, plasma is produced.

So how does the plasma cutter use this process for industrial purposes? For this particular tool to work, there’s a need to use the electrically conductive gas so as to transfer energy from the power supply to a conductive material. As a result, there’s a faster and more capable cutting process produced compared to the usual cutting process using oxyfuel.
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The plasma cutting system is generally made up of several different components. The major components include that of the power supply, arc starting console, and the plasma torch. The role of the power supply is to convert either a single or three-phase AC line voltage into a constant DC voltage. The DC voltage on the other hand will be used for the maintenance of the plasma arc while in the cutting process.
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On the other hand, the arc circuit will be the one that will produce the spark inside of the plasma torch and in turn create the plasma arc necessary for cutting.

The plasma torch on the other hand is intended and designed to provide proper alignment and cooling of the consumables. The term, “consumables” mean the parts that are needed for the generation of the plasma arc, and they include the electrode, nozzle, and swirl ring.

On the other hand, there are instances when additional layer of shielding cap is required in the cutting process for the purpose of improving the quality of the same. It is worthy to note as well that all the parts of the tool are to be held together using both inner and outer retaining caps.

Lastly, if you happen to be the one given the responsibility to purchase a plasma cutter, your two primary options are the precision plasma cutting system and the conventional type. Based on what their names imply, the conventional plasma cutter is intended for basic cutting processes while the precision type is the one you need for finer and sharper cut quality.

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