is a widely used industrial cutting method and is applied to a range of materials that require heat in order to be cut efficiently. There are many materials used by a variety of industries that require high precision cutting and intense heat application in order to be sized to specific needs. While there are various industrial cutting methods, specific materials require the intense heat application that other cutting methods cannot offer.
What is Plasma?
When the average person thinks of the word plasma, they immediately associate the term with their high definition televisions. But what is plasma? Plasma is initially a gas that becomes ionized. When energy is applied to this electrically neutral gas, it becomes plasma in its fourth state of matter. In this state, plasma is able to conduct electricity effectively.
Plasma cutting involves applying electricity to this gas. When the electricity is combined with the gas, its temperature rises. As such, a strong cutting force is created and projected through an arc.
This intense cutting force flows through a plasma arc, which can be thought of as a "nozzle”. The plasma is applied through this arc in order to render high precision cuts to durable materials.
Materials that can be cut using plasma cutting are those that are electrically conducive. Highly durable materials such as the following are perfect candidates for plasma cutting:
Because the above materials are not cheap, it is important that there is as little waste as a possible. Material wastes in industrial cutting often occur when the cutting method applied causes burring, warping or distortion. Material can become deformed and unusable. Plasma cutting decreases the chances of these cutting mishaps.
Other advantages to selecting plasma cutting are:
The cutting time is quick.
There is no long "heat-up” period. The gas and electricity combined makes plasma ready to be used right away.
Procedure is cost-efficient and can be used by hobbyists using small hand-held plasma torches.
Edges and cuts are smooth and precise.
The application of plasma to industrial cutting was developed out of the plasma welding process. The advantages of plasma cutting for durable materials were clear and more industries began to rely on this method. While in the beginning, plasma cutting could only be done by complicated and slow equipment, technological advancements have produced handheld plasma torches that can be used by artists and hobbyists in their own workshops.
However, it is highly recommended that people let professionals handle their plasma cutting needs, in order to ensure safety and to guarantee that there is as few mistakes as possible made.
By selecting plasma cutting, professionals can achieve high precision cuts to durable materials in short periods of time. As such, plasma cutting is used and depended upon by many industries that require smooth and fine cuts to electrically conductive materials.