How to Use a Plasma Cutter
This article is made to help the people about “how to use a plasma cutter”. We will not provide the cutting tips only, here, our main intention is to teach people about “how to use a plasma cutter safely and efficiently”.
For your safety, we should give a brief description of the plasma cutter, the technology it uses for cutting material, and the right way to cut down materials using it.
Plasma cutter and it’s cutting technology
A plasma cutter is a powerful machine for cutting materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, brass, copper, etc. Cutting through a plasma cutter is a quicker and easier process to cut metals. A plasma cutter uses high-air-pressure where the ionized gas is conducted by electricity torch in the head of the machine. The ionized gas is delivered from a small orifice of the end corner of a plasma cutter. Using electricity the machine heats metals to melt and the high velocity of the ionized gas blows away the molten metal. Thus the cutter cut the material.
The process of cutting metals is easy so that you will not go back to other cutting processes such as oxyfuel cutting or grinding. It is cheaper than oxyfuel cutting. Usually, an Oxyfuel cutter can cut only ferrous metals. It is not able to cut metals like aluminum or stainless steel. Fortunately, a plasma cutter is able to cut both ferrous and non-ferrous metals simultaneously.
How to use a Plasma Cutter
It requires some precautions to think before using a plasma cutter. If you want to use a plasma cutter safely, you should follow these below tips.
Things that you will need to use a plasma cutter
In order to handle a plasma cutter, you will need Work gloves, Welding Cloths, Face Mask and Goggles.
Safety is the first issue
You should check some safety issues before using a plasma cutter. At first, read the manual that is provided by the plasma cutter manufacturer. Understanding about the machine is the first key to safety. Wear hand gloves, long sleeves, face mask, and eye protection. The cutting process is involved with molten metal. So, wearing safety equipment is necessary before cutting.
Understanding the potential effects
You should have some knowledge of plasma cutting. The cutting will create high temperature, noise, fumes, and ultraviolet radiation. So, you should be cautious while using a plasma cutter.
You should check these following items before using a plasma cutter
– Make sure that the supplied air is clean and no oil or water involved with the air compressor. If the air is contaminated you will see black marks on the plate. When you find any black marks on the metal piece, you should clean the air compressor.
– Set correct air pressure by checking the Compressor’s gauge unit.
– Make sure that the electrode and nozzles are attached in place properly.
– Check Wire Connections for a clean workplace.
Measure the thickness of the metal
Before cutting a metal piece, you need to know the thickness. Almost all plasma cutters have different amperage and cutting ability. For example, a ¼” thick metal piece will require about 25 amps output, while a ½” thick metal piece will require 50 to 60 amp output, and a ¾” thick metal piece will require about 80 amps output.
Placing the Metal
Take the metal piece which you need to cut, place it on a flat surface. It will be better if you use a wooden table. Don’t place that piece on a flammable substance.
Start with Torch
You have to start working with a torch that is attached to the front side of the plasma cutter. Hold the torch close to the metal surface from where you want to start cutting. Just pull the trigger to start the arch.
Move the Torch
When you press the trigger, the torch will start and create a pilot arch to cut. Hold the pilot arch close to the metal and start moving it. Make sure that the pilot arch is cutting the metal through the bottom line.
Judge the speed
While you are moving the torch, you should check the speed of moving. You will not notice any spark if you move the cutter quickly. Don’t make it slow or don’t it fast. With accurate speed and proper care, you can cut any metal piece properly.
Using a plasma cutter means, turn on the plasma machine and move the pilot arc over the marked area of metal to heat and cutting down. Make sure to watch some videos on YouTube to learn the cutting process more accurately.