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What is Plasma Cutting?

Amy Sumner | 06 February, 2022

            What is Plasma Cutting?

Want to learn a little more about the machines and tools we use in our business?

The central machine we use is our CNC Plasma Cutter. It was the central reason behind the creation of Custom Steel Appeal, and is used to create every single sign & garden cutout.

(Now over to Jesse for the specifics!)

Things you may not know about plasma cutting:

🔥 Its hot! They cut steel by creating plasma (the 4th state of matter) by pumping compressed air into an electrical arc (think a bit like a welder) this creates plasma at up to a staggering 22,000 degrees C. This allows it to pierce a hole into 20mm steel (makes quite the show of sparks when doing this). At this thickness it takes approx 1 second to melt the steel right though, on thinner material its much much quicker (less then 0.3 seconds)

💧 The water you see in the cutting bed minimises the fumes and airborne particles from the cutting process.

⚡️ The plasma process also uses a lot of electricity when cutting, around 5000 watts for 1.6mm steel and up to 10000 watts when cutting at full capacity – add a decent sized air compressor into the mix and you’re looking at 14000 watts of power!

⚙️ The plasma cutter we run is a hypertherm powermax 85amp 3 phase unit.

Like any piece of machinery it has been a learning curve, with testing out the capabilities & tweaking settings to find the best ones for the different metals & thickness.

If you want to learn more, send us through a message & we can feature it in a future post.

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