How to Convert Tig Welder into Plasma Cutter

Conversion of a Tig Welder into a Plasma Cutter

A tig welder and a plasma cutter are different devices that can be used for numerous jobs. A tig welder is used primarily for welding metals. A plasma cutter is used to cut metal. Even though these devices are used for two different purposesit is possible to convert one into the other. This is beneficial when a person needs to cut through metal and does not have a plasma cutter to use. It is possible to convert a tig welder into a plasma cutter. The process can take time depending on the type of equipment a person has to work with. In order for this process to happen, it is importantto understand the process details before getting started. This transition refers to taking the power of a tig welder and turning into the power for a plasma cutter. The process of exchanging power between the two machines can save time and enhance work capacity. Not only would there be a tig welder involved to weld with there would also be a plasma cutter to cut with. These two machines may be used for different things, but it would be feasible to have both machines at the same time. It would be even better to convert the power from the welder to run the cutter when it is needed. There are times whenthere is no electricity or power to run a plasma cutter. To be able to hook it into the welder and convert the power into the plasma cutter would make jobs easier.

Tig welder stick welder plasma cutter all in one (Soure: youtube.com)

Power Conversion​

In order for a tig welder to be converted into a plasma cutter there need to be enough power to handle this transformation. Power is very important for both these machines. If there is not enough power to runthe plasma cutter, then the conversion would not work. Power supply is an important factorto consider when tryingtothistransition. The tig welder normally does not have the correct power source or amp to ensureefficientuse of a plasma cutter. The plasma cutter requires more voltage and power to run efficiently. The welder does not offer as much power asis needed for the plasma cutter to cut efficiently. This process of conversion needs configuration of enhanced power. Once the power is configured the transition can take place. In order to do this, a circuit will be needed to convert the power and amp usage. It allows the adjustment of power and voltage levels to be able to power the plasma cutter and allow the cutter to work accurately. Without it, the cutting would be slow and it would not cut as accurately as it would with the correct amount of power. The conversion will make things run more smoothly whether you use the tig welder and the plasma cutter.​

Understanding the Use of Plasma Cutting​

A plasma cutter uses an electric arc to be able to cut accurately and quickly. To make a plasma cutter work it needs a torch, the supply of oxygen and a source to power the cutter to run. If anyof these is not working or is not set properly the machine will not work right. Torqueis needed to properly cut the material. Torque is what gives the ability to have the weight of cutting power for the plasma cutter to operate. Without torque it would not complete the cutting process properly. The power supply needed for a plasma cutter is AC. This type of power is used by an electrical outlet or a generator. The AC power in then configured to reflect the DC output type of power for the plasma cutter. In order for the AC power to operate the plasma cutter there needs to be some sort of electrical service to supply this type of power. Without thistype of electrically powered source, the plasma cutter cannot be used. The issue with this is that when this type of power source is needed, there are many areas that do not have thissource. If a person is working outdoor or in a secluded area, there is probably not going to be any power source available to produce electricity. A welder is often equipped with agenerator to power the welder. The generator that operates the welder does not need to have an electrical power source because it powered with fuel. It does not matter where you are using the welder because it is not dependent on electricity. It can still be used and it can work fine without the AC power source that the plasma cutter needs. The different power supply sources explain how different devices are used. Since machines are made to perform different tasksthe power supply for them is going to be different also. Tig welder is used for welding and the plasma cutter is used for cutting. The transition from one device to the other will be different for all aspects of the machinery. The tig welder machine cannot power a plasma cutter which needs a different power source.​

Differences Between Plasma Cutting and Tig Welding Mechanism​

A tig welder will need much less power compared toa plasma cutter. Therefore, the power supply that is needed to run will need anAC output and not the DC output that the welding machine has to offer. The power will need to be changed or converted in order for the process to be able to run sufficiently. A welder needs ‘positive’electrode chargefor it to work and weld sufficiently. If there is no positive outflow, the welder will not weld. The plasma cutter, on the other hand, needs to have a ‘negative’electrode chargefor it to function and cut. If the plasma cutter does not have the option for negative output, then the machine will not cut. The welder cannot have a negative output and be expected to work. The plasma cutter cannot have a positive output and be expected to cut. Certain plasma cutters have been made to be able to receive power supply from a welder but it takes a mechanism to do so. The plasma cutters have a silicon controller rectifier (SCR) which allows the welder to transition the power needed to run the plasma cutter. Not all plasma cutters are equipped with the silicon controller rectifier. The welder can then be used to run and handle the type of power the plasma cutter requires to run and cut properly. Plasma cutters that have the silicon controlled rectifier to make the transition and conversion from the welder, it does not have the ability to change the positive and negative electrode charge. The positive and negative charge would need to be changed manually each time to use both the tig welder and the plasma cutter. The SCR makes the plasma cutter more resourceful to use with the welder but it does not allow the complete transfer of negative and positive charge without manually switching it. Even if the SCR is included with plasma cutter it is still important to remember to change the positive and negative output in order to use both machines. The plasma cutters can run on3-phase or a single phase of power. The phase power supply is for the type of torque or enhanced power needed for cutting material. These types of machines often need 3-phasesupply that will allow them to run smoothly. If there is only a single phase supply then the plasma cutter using the converter,or silicone controlled rectifier, cannot get sufficient power to operate accurately. The required power supply is different and the power would not be enough for the plasma cutter converted into the welder. The three-phase welding system is not as common in this type of welding field. The plasma cutter cannot run on engine-based supply that a welder uses. What is needed to combine the Power Supply?

In order for the single phase power of the welding machine to power the plasma cutter conversion of single phase power into 3-phase output is needed. It would be feasible to have a plasma cutter thatneeds DC voltage power to use the power phase of the engine-run welder machine. Then have a DC to DC conversion and then transition it to power the plasma cutter arc mechanism. This process would need to not put to much power and overpower the welding machine. The DC to DC converter will need the voltage polarity power of the welder to make run the plasma cutter process.

The converter is needed to make the output power and increase the volts and direct the power to the plasma cutter to cut and work effectively. This process and conversion will allow the welder to release enough power and voltage to allow the plasma cutter to performthe desired cutting. The plasma cutter would have an input to receive the power from the welder and the converter will transition that power from the welder into the plasma cutter. In order for this to work properly, the converter will ensure that enough power of the welder is configured to have enough voltage to be converted into the input device of the plasma cutter and then have enough power to runthe cutting mechanism. In order to make this process work accurately, the converter is needed to give the welder more torque and amp to allow the plasma cutter to run and operate. If there is not enough torque or power, then the conversion is not going to work for the plasma cutter. Once the power supply is converted to DC to DC capacity the plasma cutter will be able to perform. The circuit will need to ensure that there is enough torque to set the plasma cutter at the desired cutting setting. The negative and positive outputs will need to be switched to use each device properly. It is important to remember the output of negative and positive electrodes when using the welder and then transitioning it to the plasma cutter. Once the process of power, torque, output, input and control is determined and adjusted then the plasma cutter should work, running or converting from the power of the welder. If everything is set and transformed correctly the cutting process of the plasma cutter will be accurate and sufficient.​

  • Updated October 2, 2016