Plasma Cutting -

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Plasma Cutting
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The Benefits of Plasma Arc Cutting
Plasma Arc cutting is an excellent choice for most cutting applications but it is particulary well suited for applications where speed and excellent cut quality are important. Because of the intense heat of the plasma arc – around 40,000° F compared to 5,700° F, with gases used with Oxy-Fuel torches – the cut is clean with little or no dross.

The plasma arc also cuts ferrous and non-ferrous metals much faster than an Oxy-Fuel torch or abrasive saws, with low or no heat affected zone, especially on thinner metals. A clean cut with little or no dross means less time and money is required to finish the work piece. Parts are virtually weld-ready.

With plasma cutting, less preparation work is required. A plasma arc is hot enough to burn through most surface coatings such as paint and rust and still provide excellent cutting results. With plasma cutting, there is minimal heat input and distortion of the metal as there is with jigsaws or cutting shears.

For applications where difficult shapes are being handled or cut, such as ventilation ductwork (HVAC), tanks or vessels, plasma cutting offers considerable advantage since no fixturing is required.

Selecting a Plasma Cutting System
These basic questions will help you decide which system best fits your needs:
• How thick is the metal you want to cut?
Plasma systems are available in a wide range of output power ratings.
Select a system that is rated at double the thickness you usually work with. This ensures sufficient cut speed for all your applications.
• What type of metal are you cutting?
Plasma can be used for cutting mild steel, stainless, and aluminum as well as most other metals, with excellent results.
• What is your primary input power?
This refers to power at the wall or power source. Each plasma system will have a required input current (single or three phase) rated at maximum output based on your input voltage.
• Gas Supply
Manual cutting systems require either air or nitrogen as a gas source – either from a high pressure gas cylinder or most often an air compressor. An air compressor draws on shop air so it is very important to control the air quality and keep it free from contaminants.
We recommend purchasing an optional filtering accessory for your plasma system to ensure your system performs at its best.
• Torch Lead Length
Plasma cutting systems are usually offered with either 20 ft. or 50 ft. leads. How far away from your input power do you want to work?

Learn More About Selecting a Plasma Cutting System

Plasma Cutting Video Library: Courtesy of Miller Electric Mfg. Co


Plasma Cutters