Plasma cutters have the capability to cut the metals in simple and complex shapes like holes, edges, markings, etc. Plasma cutters are cost-effective and practical compared to oxy-fuel, laser, and water jet cutting processes. Let us understand how plasma cutters work and what consumables you will need.
What is Plasma Cutter?
Plasma cutting is a cutting technique that uses an accelerated jet of hot plasma to cut through conductive metals like steel, aluminum, brass, titanium, copper, etc. It is widely used in manufacturing, automotive repair, industrial construction, restoring, scrapping, etc. Plasma cutting can be done using a handheld plasma torch also known as plasma arcs, guns, or cutters. For that, you will need hand held plasma cutter parts.
Due to high speed, precise cuts, and low cost, plasma cutting is widely used by small companies and industries using CNC.
Why You Need Plasma Cutter Consumables?
Using plasma cutter over time, components start wearing off gradually. Worn consumables can ruin metal while cutting. Your operator can tell which consumables are worn by sound, color, etc.
The best way to keep a check on the condition of your consumables is to periodically inspect consumables. If you see that the quality of the cut is deteriorating, you have an indication that it needs to be changed.
It is a good practice to maintain a record of the average life of parts over time and prepare a guideline for consumables based on the thickness of the material, amperage, and material. So operator will know after what time he needs to check the components thoroughly to prevent catastrophic failure.
It is essential that you run all your parts at the correct amperage. High or low amperage can impact the cut quality. However, using incorrect consumables can also lead to shortened life and cut quality.
List of Consumables With Their Purpose
You can choose from different consumables like Hypertherm powermax 45 consumables, Powermax 45 XP, Powermax 65, etc. Here is the list of the consumables you might need.
The electrode provides power to the plasma arc. Electrode conducts high voltage or high-frequency energy while you start the cut. This adds energy to ionize the cuttings gas that creates plasma and allows the arc to start.
A swirl ring is made of ceramic or volcanic ash. It controls and swirls the plasma gas around the electrodes and inside nozzles. It basically controls the point where the arc is attached to the emitter and also the plasma flow through the nozzle that affects the edge angularity. It usually swirls in clockwise rotation but their counterclockwise swirls are to assist for mirror cutting.
Nozzle constricts the gas stream flowing through the orifice in the center of the nozzle. A nozzle that is worn out or improper will cause the part to have an improper size or edge. The orifice must be a circle and not oval or egg-shaped.
Inner Retaining Cap
The purpose of the retaining cap is to hold all the internal stack components in proper alignment. A damaged or improper retainer will cause the rest of the consumables to fit improperly and it can cause a gas error, coolant leaks, or poor cut quality.
As the name suggests, a shield protects all the consumables from sparks and molten metals. There are mostly made of copper and provide a proper distance between nozzle and workpiece.
It works as a coolant to the tips of the electrodes to prevent overheating. The size of the tube is important otherwise it will cause premature electrode failure due to overheating.
It is important to invest in a good-quality hand held plasma cutter parts. Because poor quality will have less shelf-life. You can find different Hypertherm consumables like Hypertherm powermax 45 consumables, powermax 45XP, powermax 65, etc. easily from certified suppliers.