Whether you’re a hobbyist or an industrial professional, there is a plethora of things you could still learn about plasma cutting. Whether it is about the actual plasma cutting process, or choosing the right products, this guide will help you know it all. You’ll be able to work on plasma cutters for aluminium or any other electrically conductive materials.
Some customers want to know the right product which can fit their budget. Others don’t want to compromise on quality and are ready to spend extra. Some beginners want to know how they should proceed with the plasma cutting process. We take all these concerns in consideration and carve out the perfect guide for your needs.
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Basic Process of Plasma Cutting
Plasma cutting can be a gruesome task. But only when you start unprepared. Without any further ado, here is the valuable guide. Use plasma cutters for aluminium or any other metals after reading this guide.
1. Choose work location
The first thing to do after you get your plasma cutter is choose a suitable place to work. If you haven’t chosen a plasma cutter, scroll down below to see the list of our recommended products. Make sure the surface is spacious for you to move around while working.
We recommend using grate or similar material to cut on. Also make sure the power sockets on the wall are nearby. You don’t want to setup the plasma cutter only to realize that the cable doesn’t reach the power socket.
2. Plug-in the unit
Now this might seem mundane, but too many people aren’t careful. Make sure the power switch on the plasma cutter is off while you plug in the unit. After the main switch is plugged inside the wall, switch it on. But don’t switch on the plasma cutter yet. Read this again, you MUST NOT switch it on yet, as you still have to ground the whole thing.
3. Connect the air compressor
After plugging in the main switch, next comes the air compressor. The air compressor ensures the flow of clean and cool air inside the plasma cutter. The heat of the hot ionized plasma makes the inside area hot, which can reduce the functioning ability of the equipment and even damage the torch. Hence, putting on a quality air compressor is the best thing you can do for your plasma cutter.
4. Turn the air on
After the air compressor is connected, turn it on. Note that this is done before turning on the main unit, that is, the plasma cutter. Turn on the air compressor for smooth supply of cool and clean air. Make sure that the air is clean and dry. Otherwise it can damage the equipment.
5. Attach Ground Clamp
This is one security measure you must keep in mind. As you’re working with electricity and the heat generated by it, it is essential that you ground the whole equipment. This not only saves you from any danger, but also saves the plasma cutter. Make sure the work area is clean and doesn’t have any water bottle or any liquids that can spill over and break the grounded connection. Make sure the wires are tight, because a small mistake can cost a fortune here.
6. Switch on the main unit
Now that you’ve grounded the machine, it’s safe to switch on the main unit. Switch the power on from the plasma cutter switch. If you haven’t grounded the machine properly or looked for loose connections, go back to the previous step and do it.
7. Adjust the current
The current determines the intensity of your cutting and how much power you will get. So based on the manufacturer’s manual and further research, you should determine how much current is good for your work. Adjust the current from the knob on your plasma cutter or the automated settings in your CNC machine, if you’re using one.
8. Go for it
Now go for the actual cut by turning pushing the trigger on the torch. If you have a plasma cutter guide, use it to make a precise cut. Use plasma cutters for aluminium or other electrically conductive materials like steel, copper etc. Plasma cutter guide is like a stencil for your cutting pathway, that makes the process easier.
The cutting guide helps you cut in-line or in circles, whichever way you want. Keep a firm hand while cutting. Keep the tip of the torch or plasma gun close to the material. If you don’t know how to cut metal using a plasma cutter, use this online training by the global leader in plasma cutting machines, Hypertherm.
9. Switching the equipment off and winding it up
After you’ve done the required work, switch the power off from the plasma cutter. Now disconnect the ground clamp, turn off the compressor and disconnect it.
Then wrap up all the wires and put it on the table or the cart where you place the plasma cutter. Making sure the wires are not just laying around will help avoid unnecessary damage.
Why should you use plasma cutter for aluminium or other metals?
- More and more people are using plasma cutter rather than oxy fuel because it gives faster, cleaner and hassle free cuts. Some plasma cutters even come with the pilot arc where there is no direct contact between the tip of the plasma torch and the material.
- Having a pilot arc on your plasma torch eliminates the need to clean rusty or dirty material before cutting it. It saves time and the cut is butter smooth too.
- Many plasma cutters are more suitable for beginners and those who want to work on DIY projects. Lotos brand is specially good as its plasma cutters are affordable as well as high quality. They also have the pilot arc feature which make them lucrative at affordable price.
- Plasma cutters are also used with CNC machines. CNC machines automate the whole process of plasma cutting. The settings for current, air flow etc. are configured and the machine does rest of the work. Though for DIY projects, there is no need to get a CNC machine.
- One important thing to remember is that you can use plasma cutter for aluminium or other electrically conductive materials only. These materials include aluminium, copper, steel etc.
If you want a plasma cutter for aluminum or a plasma cutter for cutting any metal on the planet, Lotos LT5000D is the clear winner. It is also recommended to purchase a plasma cutter with built-in air compressor. Although it doesn’t have an air compressor, it provides efficient cooling system. The air regulation on this unit is outstanding which makes it long-lasting.If you want, you can also look up plasma cutters with built in air compressor. But they can not be as affordable as this beast right here.
Now that you have learnt the process of plasma cutting, through our guide and perhaps the Hypertherm online training, you’re good to go. Make sure you ground the equipment to prevent any danger. Beginners will find these products specially effective. The LT5000D is the winner as it works clean and fast.