The Advantages of Plasma Cutting MachinesMac-Tech Inc.
Plasma cutting machines offer unique benefits for metal fabrication. Adding a plasma cutting machine to your shop can improve efficiency and broaden the type of work you can produce. Learn the benefits of plasma cutting machines.
Plasma cutting machines cut quickly. They can typically make the same cuts as other machines 5-6 times faster Working quickly reduces the risk of warping and heat deformation. Plasma cutting machines don’t need pre-heating, so there’s no waiting time before getting started on the workpiece.
Plasma cutting machines work on any metal capable of conducting electricity. They can cut metals such as mild steel, carbon steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, and others. They can cut different types of conductive materials stacked atop each other.
Plasma cutters work by forcing gas through an electrode in a precision tip. This heats the gas to extraordinary temperatures, up to 20,000 degrees Celsius (45,00 degrees Fahrenheit). A “shielding” gas surrounds the hot gas jet to prevent melting beyond the desired cut. The constricted, ionized gas creates a charged electric arc that jumps to the conductive workpiece and slices through it.
Plasma cutting machines create precision cuts with less debris: in fact, the high-speed, high-temperature ionized gas that blasts through the tip of a plasma cutter blows away debris from the cut, minimizing the need for finishing work. Some plasma cutters work with CNC controls and robotic plasma cutters are highly precise, yet your team members can learn to use them quickly.
Plasma cutters are cost efficient. They often cost less upfront than other types of cutting machines, and they are typically less expensive to operate. As with any machine, the tips that force the ionized gas out from the cutter toward the workpiece will wear out eventually, these “consumable” parts can easily be replaced without buying an new machine.
There are some disadvantages to plasma cutting machines. The main disadvantage is that plasma cutters can’t cut materials that are thicker than about an inch and a half. They also don’t work well on very thin materials. They can be noisy and exude fumes that require excellent ventilation.
They automatically apply optimized cutting process parameters, which simplifies cutting and reduces operator intervention. Easy set up improves job efficiency. It works across multiple cutting technologies.
Nevertheless, plasma cutters are an essential piece of machinery for metalworking shops that aspire to expand their services. Plasma cutters can pierce metal much faster than other types of cutters, and their ability to work in water reduces heat-affected areas on the part.
Contact Mac-Tech to discuss which of our plasma cutting machines is right for your metalworking operation. We’ll help you consider the advantages of plasma cutting machines, and the pros and cons of each model based on the work you do, the size of your shop, and your budget.