Plasma cutting is a process which involves cutting electrically conductive material with the help of hot plasma accelerated jet which is otherwise known as a plasma cutter.It helps in cutting steel, aluminum, brass, copper and other conductive materials. It is used widely in welding shops. It enables high speed cutting with precision at a low cost of operation.
How does it work?
It involves creating an electrical circuit back with the plasma from the plasma cutter through a grounding clamp. It is done by compressing the gas and blowing it through a nozzle at high speed to the piece which is to be cut. The electric arc formed with this,creates an electrical channel of plasma. This electricity produced, melts the metal and cuts through it.
How to use it?
The plasma cutter is easy to use and is very convenient. By guiding the cutter,freeform cuts can be made to the metal to be cut.It requires a ground clamp similar to the one used in welding. This requires following the given steps to get a precisioned cut.
- Place the metal on a surface,which is safe and allows movement. A surface that functions as table can be considered perfect.
- Make sure the unit is plugged in with the switch at off position.
- Now,connect the plasma cutter with the external air compressor so that the plasma remains at high pressure.
- Turn the lever to 90 degrees in a direction perpendicular to the air line to the inline and turn the air on.
- Set the metal to the working surface and place a ground clamp attached to the place where you are going to cut.
- Flip the switch present behind the unit to On position and switch on the machine.
- Set the current to cut the required metal.
- Activate the plasma cutter with the help of the trigger in the gun. The trigger has to be lifted before pressing in order to ensure safety.
- Keep the nozzle end of the cutter close to the metal and use the guide around the nozzle to trace templates.
- A s soon as you finish cutting, turn off the machine.
- Now disconnect the ground clamp, which is attached to the metal you are working.
- Now turn off the air by rotating the lever 90 degrees perpendicular to the line from the inline.
- Wind all the hoses and wires and secure it for safety.
Tips for improving quality
It is advised to read the manufacturers manual thoroughly for cutting effectively. It is preffered to make a sample cut in a metal similar to your working piece so that you can know the travel speed and settings. Practice to get freedom of movement in the sample metal so that you can cut precisely in the work piece. Use a drag shield to make the torch rest on the workpiece. If your cutter is not equipped with drag shield, use your hand which is not cutting to support your hand which is cutting. Use the right tip for the amperage setting. For precise cuts use a straight edged clamped to the workpiece to help in guiding your torch.
By following the above steps and keeping in mind the tips mentioned,you can surely obtain a cut that is precise and fits better.