Plasma cutting is mostly done in motor vehicle workshops, metal welding, and construction work. The process involves a combination of tools which may include and not limited to supportive metals such as cast iron, copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and brass.
Plasma cutting has evolved and has embraced modern technology to deliver high-quality and precise cuts. The process has become easy as you just need to power on the tool, place it where you want to cut and let it do the work.
Note that while the process seems simple, the tool may not provide superior precision and high-quality cuts due to some reasons. Fortunately, you can use these practices to increase your productivity, produce high-quality cuts and extend the life of your tool. We hope after reading this article, you will have known how to get the most out of your plasma cutter.
1. Get Some Plasma Cutting Skills
Plasma cutting is a simple process and the tool is easy to use but you will need to acquire some elementary skills so that you can use it effectively to produce high-quality cutting.
Like any other machine, handling a plasma cutter requires some understanding and training. For that reason, if you will have to work with the tool, you should know the essential components of the tool such as the Shield, Nozzle, the Electrode and what tasks they can accomplish. Also knowing how these components can be impaired helps to prolong their life while enhancing the accuracy of plasma cuts.
2. Change Consumables Regularly
To enhance the performance of the plasma cutter and quality of cutting, you should replace worn out and damaged parts regularly. Note that the plasma cutter works in places where there is dust and this could cover up the tool and thus affect its performance and quality cutting. To avoid such circumstances, you need to keep the plasma cutter as clean as possible on a regular basis.
3. Follow Product Instructions/Manual
Once you buy a plasma cutter, you will be given a guide/manual. This manual is meant to help you to know how to work with the machine and maintain it. You should always understand and follow the instructions provided to correctly use the machine, stay safe, and enable quality cutting.
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4. Keep Power Supply Consistent
For the plasma cutting system to work effectively, there must be a continuous and consistent power supply. This keeps the consumables intact thus enabling improved cut quality and prolonged existence of the plasma cutter. The consistent power supply also keeps consumables undamaged and hence enabling good cut quality for a longer period of time.
5. Get a New THC
The THC, also known as Torch Height Control is meant to support the cutting height of the plasma torch. A new THC keeps the electrodes balanced, thus keeping the height constantly supported for a long period of time. Older THC cannot maintain the electrodes wear so you will have to manually sustain electrodes wear by raising the current in 2-volt increments.
6. Use High-Quality Torches
A plasma torch is made in such a way that different gases, electrical current and torch coolant cannot affect each other while plasma cutting. The torch is designed with an outer shell that shields the inner parts from radiant heat caused by the plasma arc and the inner insulating sleeve. The torch is also made with coolant and gas passages which are sealed so that the coolant and gas don’t mix and an insulating material that keeps away internal arcing within the torch. The torch contains consumables such as the nozzle, electrode, gas distributor, and shield.
7. Always Allow Dry Air to Flow Through the Metal When Cutting
When it comes to plasma cutting, dry air is of great importance. You need to ensure dry air is flowing constantly through the metal during cutting. This is why we would recommend having a compressor with enough dryer and water separator equipment installed. Note that when moisture-rich air reaches the plasma arc, the arc would not be stable since the moisture-rich air will make the arc to stroll. Therefore, to improve plasma cutting quality, ensure dry and clean air flows through the unit as this makes the arc stable.
8. Installation of the Unit
The installation method will determine the quality of cutting it can produce. This is why you need to install some important items such as dressing up consumables and maintaining precise air pressure that has no water or oil.
9. Guiding the Way
When plasma cutting, you need to mark the material you are cutting. In this case, it is recommended that you mark it with a black marker or a white one. Note that large marks are easy to see than tinny marks. To accurately cut the material, fix a straight edge to guide the torch. If you want to make several cuts of similar shape, design a template.
You can use straight and circle guides to get accurate cuts. But avoid using flammable guide. In fact, aluminum is the best for this matter since it is has a smooth surface, but the fact that it is a good conductor of electricity, ensure it doesn’t come into with the tip.
Using a plasma cutting unit correctly can save you time and money. Consequently, having the knowledge when it comes to working with the unit increases chances of keeping it functional for a long period of time and also improves quality cut which is what the unit is designed for.
The preceding tips will help you to make good use of your plasma cutting machine and to help enhance productivity as well as bring down operating costs. Wear and tear are inevitable things when it comes to consumable parts, but getting to know how the parts are impaired helps you to prolong their lifespan and enhance the accuracy of your plasma cuts.