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How A Plasma Cutter Works

How a Plasma Cutter Works

First, plasma cutting is a process that uses plasma to cut through electrically conductive materials. Some of these materials include aluminium, steel, brass, and copper.

Several modern industries, including metal fabrication, construction, automotive, not to mention, small hobbyist shops and home enthusiasts depend on this process because it offers high speed and precision at low costs. The end result is a clean, dross-free cut that requires minimal rework or clean-up.

plasma cutterHow Does A Plasma Cutter Work?

The machine has a constricted opening, where an electric arc is sent through a neutral gas. Some high-end systems use nitrogen, oxygen, or other gas mixes, while popular models simply use dry compressed air. Swirling the gas inside the torch where the nozzle and the consumable electrode interact increases the temperature of the gas until it enters the fourth state of matter, which is plasma. The compressed gas is then blown through a focused nozzle at very high speeds onto the workpiece that needs to be cut. The arc produced by the machine’s electrode is allowed to transfer to the workpiece by the electrical conductivity of the plasma, making the metal itself part of the circuit. The high-velocity plasma is capable of piercing through the metal and blowing away the molten metal.

The arc-creating process is continuous provided power is supplied to the electrode, as well as, the plasma beams stay in contact with the work piece. In addition, the nozzle comes with a set of channels that produce a continual flow of shielding gas. The pressure of this shielding gas, which flows around the cutting area, controls the radius of the plasma beam, which in turn ensures a precise cut.

Choosing A Plasma Cutter

Plasma cutters come in different shapes and sizes. The stronger computer-controlled torches can cut up to 6 inches of thick steel while the compact, handheld options can cut up to 1.5 inches of thick steel. Both options make precise incisions and can be used to also cut metal in curved or angled shapes.

Today, this machine has become invaluable in several manufacturing processes. At Stoney CNC, we provide a wide range of CNC routing and milling systems. The versatile nature of our machines allows for efficiency and accuracy, which enables you to produce high-quality work, reduce turn-around time, and keep other machinery up and running at full capacity. We also provide a variety of CNC machining services, including training, consultancy, and full after-sales support. For more information, contact us today on 01432 607 908 or email

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