What is Plasma Cutting?
Plasma cutting uses an accelerated jet of hot plasma to cut through electrically conductive materials. Plasma cutters are the fastest way to cut through gauge material up to 6″ thick and are more cost-efficient to run than high-powered CNC laser cutters. Plasma cutters do their best work on large sheet metal parts, versus CNC laser cutters which are better at more detailed work and creating holes — something plasma cutters struggle with.
How Does it Work?
The plasma cutting process is a thermal cutting method. Which means that is uses heat to melt the metal instead of mechanically cutting it. The overall mechanics of the system is always the same. Plasma cutters use compressed air or other gases, such as nitrogen. Ionisation of these gases takes place to create plasma. Typically, the compressed gases come into contact with the electrode and then ionise to create more pressure. When the pressure builds up, a stream of plasma is pushed towards the cutting head. The cutting tip constricts the flow to create a stream of plasma. This is then subjected onto the workpiece. As plasma is electrically conductive, the workpiece is connected to the ground through the cutting table. As the plasma arc contacts the metal, its high temperature melts it. At the same time, the high speed gases blow away the molten metal.
Our Plasma Cutting Capabilities
Choosing a Cutting Method
Making your choice between different cutting methods comes down to the material, its thickness and application of the parts. The recommended cutting thickness for plasma cutting is between 15…50 mm. The recommended upper limit of material thickness for a plasma cutting service is about 50 mm for carbon and stainless steel. Aluminium should no go past 40 mm. Everything above that is in the domain of waterjet and flame cutting. Laser cutting services should be the preferred option for sheet metal and thinner plates because of its greater cutting quality and speed. But laser cutting’s upper limit is somewhere around 25…30 mm. Also, plasma cutting is quicker and therefore cheaper with plates starting from around 15 mm. Then again, the question comes down to the required quality. It is, though, always possible to get a nice and smooth result with post processing.
Benefits Of Plasma Cutting
Able to cut all conductive materials. Flame cutting, though also suitable for cutting thick metals, is limited to ferrous metals only. Great quality for thickness up to 50 mm. Maximum thickness up to 150 mm. Comparatively cheap for medium thickness cuts. Best way to cut medium thickness stainless steel and aluminium. CNC machines are available to provide high precision and repeatability. Can cut in water, resulting in smaller HAZ. Also reduces noise levels. Smaller cutting kerf compared to flame cutting. Quicker cutting speed than oxyfuel.
Why Choose ASTEORD for Plasma Cutting?
Plasma Cutting Materials
Waterjet machines cut all types of metals: hardened tool steel, aluminum, titanium, and a host of exotic metals that prove difficult to cut with other tools or processes. Cutting with a waterjet produces a smooth edge with no burn marks, cracking or excess burrs. In addition, since waterjet is a cold cutting method, there are no heat-affected zones.
Available Surface Finishes
Polishing, Grinding, Sandblasting, Glass bead blasting etc.
Hardening, Quenching and Tempering, Case hardening, Gas nitriding, Plasma nitriding etc.
Anodizing, Hard anodizing, Black finishing, Passivating, Phosphate conversion coating, Nickel plating, Galvanizing (zinc plating) etc.