5 Tips to Improve Plasma Cutting Efficiency

For beginner hobbyists, plasma cutting is effectively cutting some materials like copper, aluminum and steel which are highly conductive through a jet spray of hot plasma. It is one of the widest used processes, right from a hobbyist who does it manually freehand to professional robots in a very huge industrial estate. The process is quite simple and requires power and some hands on experience to ensure efficiency. Plasma cutter is an easy-to-handle device and tempting to work with for a lot of reasons. Certain pointers on how to use the plasma cutter

1. Familiarize with the Plasma Cutter

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There are different brands of plasma cutters available in the market. With its increased use across a wide audience, it is not a surprise to find many types. Now before you start using the device, equipping with the capabilities and limitations of your plasma cutter is important. Reading through the manual to know your device and how it works really helps. Also at all times, be aware of how to safely use the instrument. Skillfully using the device depends on how well one actually knows the device.

2. Practice makes everything perfect

After reading through the instruction manual, the process might look simple. When you start working with the plasma cutter is when you will face real challenges. Preparations to handle these are important. Before you begin the actual work, try and practice sometimes on a few materials which are in excess. Check in which speed it is comfortable to travel and ensure that the cutter’s settings are tuned to suit your work. Also work on your hand movement and see how much control you have. It should also be easy to stop after you are continuously working. Keep a tab on the cuts and its patterns.

3. Amp Setting and Using the right Tip

  • When you are using the plasma cutter at its lowest settings, the jet of plasma is narrower as the orifice is smaller in this setting
  • Extended tips really helps when you want to reach out further into tight areas, or when using patterns and cutting in tight areas.
  • When in lowest of settings, using an 80 amp tip is not very effective and covers wide areas as the focus of plasma on to a place is not excellent.
  • Consumption life is drastically reduced when on an 80 amp setting you start using a 40 amp tip.

4. Know your materials

It is interesting to learn how the cuts are on different types of materials. Every conductive metal has different thickness and the cuts are dependent on the thickness and the speed with which the plasma cutter works through them.

If you are using the instrument on a thin material, when you start cutting, there might be little back splash or the arc might just punch.

Some caution needs to be maintained while you cut through a thick material as well. Start with an acute angle say 45 degrees so you anticipate what the first blast of jet hot plasma does to the metal. If you are working on a thick aluminum sheet, the faster your cut movement is, the cleaner it comes out.

If you know the cuts and are going to use too many similar cuts, be prepared with a template. There are also guides available for effective and precise cuts.

5. Stroke Speed

It is important to know the direction you will have to travel and also the angle of arcs on the metal where exactly it is exiting to have brilliant strokes. If the arc exits a pointy on the plate and some plasma shots just spray back, it typically means your movement is a little fast.

  • If your arc just goes smoothly down the metal cutting on an impulse it indicates the movement is slow. Also using a straight edged clamp gets you to precise and sharp cuts.
  • If you are cutting through a comparatively thick material, the cutter could be set on to highest output setting and you could manipulate your speed of movement accordingly.
  • When cutting through slightly thinner materials, to maintain a narrow cut, use the low amp tip on a low amp speed for effective use.
  • April 3, 2017
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