Plasma cutting is a relatively new yet pretty efficient way of cutting through metals. It hence pays to know more about it, all for the sake of appreciating it better and putting it into good use. We prepare this article with the aim of showcasing its finer details. You will learn how to use a plasma cutter properly.
10 ways How To Use A Plasma Cutter
There are many circumstances in which the plasma cutter may be employed. Here are some of the leading areas of applications though:
- Processing thin metals
- Maintenance of factories and agricultural equipment
- Facilitating construction activities
- Undertaking the welding and dismantling tasks
- Repairs of cars and other vehicles
- Large-scale manufacturing processes
- Demolitions of structures and other installations
- Sprucing up many artworks and decorative gears
- Processing thin metals
- Plumbing and general repairs
What is a plasma cutter?
A plasma cutter is a special piece of equipment that is used to cut through hard steel and other tough metals. It makes use of the accelerated jet of very hot plasma to do this job. In most cases, it is used to cut through electrically conductive materials like stainless steel, steel, copper, brass, and Aluminum.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Q1. What kind of gas do you use with a plasma cutter?
A. You have several gases for your choice and use. Among these are the Nitrogen/Argon/Hydrogen mixture, Nitrogen, Oxygen, and high purity air. They have been noted to generate optimal outcomes on a variety of conductive materials. Make your choice appropriately from the list above.
Q2. What do you need to use a plasma cutter?
A. You badly need an air compressor. This is the one that pressurizes the plasma and then furnishes the gush of plasma to the targeted portion of your materials. Also, you will need a variety of safety gear to take good care of your body and more so, the eyes.
Q3. How do you hook up a plasma cutter?
A. Follow these steps to hook up a plasma cutter:
Step I: Plug the compressor in the socket
Start off by plugging the compressor in the socket. First, see to it that the unit is switched off before attempting to do so. This is to prevent the risks of electrocution from possibly arising in the course of handling the item.
Step II: Attach the Air
Now take a step to attach the air compressor to the plasma cutter. It is this attachment that sees to it that a stream of plasma is furnished to the system. To do so, move back the outer flange of the female connection. At the same time, slot in the male connection.
Step III: Turn the Air On
After that, turn the air on. Do this by turning the lever on the best plasma cutter under 1000 at an angle of 90° from the perpendicular baseline to the air line and finally the inline.
Step IV: Attach the Clamp
Once you are through with that, you should now attach the clamp. This is to keep the metal in a state of stability. Close this by fixing a brace near the spot that you will be subsequently cutting.
Step IV: Set the Current
You are now good to go. Before you go, you now have to set the current. This is the amount of electrical energy that you will rely on to cut your metals. Needless to say, the level of current has to be commensurate to the intensity of the work to be done.
Q4. Can I weld with a plasma cutter?
A. NO! The plasma cutter, as its designation implies, works to cut metal into two pieces. A welding machine, on the other hand, works to joint two metals together. These two tasks are completely at odds with each other.
Q5. Can you use a MIG welder as a plasma cutter?
A. NO! The plasma cutter, as we have already said, uses an accelerated jet of very hot plasma to cut through metal. The MIG welder, on the other hand, uses electric current to melt a solid wire electrode that subsequently joints two metallic pieces together.
As you may already see, these two technologies differ markedly. It is hence impossible to use the MIG welder as a plasma cutter.
Q6. Can I use my TIG welder as a plasma cutter?
A. TIG welder primarily joins two metallic pieces by melting the same and letting them cool to form a hardened monolithic joint. Even though a TIG welder can actually cut through metals, its outcomes are not as great as those of the real plasma cutters. You are hence advised to exercise some caution.
Q7. What air pressure is required for plasma cutting?
A. 90-120 Pounds-per-square-inch it is! This translates to around 4-8 standard cubic feet per minute. It is noteworthy that these figures are for a metal that measures 3.8 inches thick. Make your calculations using the figures as your base or standard unit.
Q8. Does plasma cutter need gas?
A. YES, it needs gas. Some of the gases that may be necessary and relevant are Nitrogen/Argon/Hydrogen mixture, Nitrogen, Oxygen, and high purity air, to name but a few! These gases play the role of generating the plasma while at the same time shielding the cuts.
Q9. Are plasma cutters dangerous?
A. YES, they are! They tend to predispose you to the risks of fire hazards. You are hence asked to exercise some caution as you make use of the same. Use the aprons, face masks, overalls, goggles, and other protective gear to achieve this end.
Q10. Can you weld with a plasma cutter?
A. NO, you can’t! A plasma cutter incises precision cuts on metals at extremely high temperatures. It does not melt the metals as in the case of the TIG welding or heats up the wires as in the case of the MIG welding. Thus, it can never at all be used to join any two parts or components together.
You now have a rough clue of how to use a plasma cutter. With that knowledge, is it too much to ask you now to move ahead and implement the insight? Just approach the whole issue of the plasma cutter with the utmost confidence you need to. If you have never attempted using these cutters before, we recommend the best plasma cutter under 500 for a start.