hypertherm parts

Plasma Cutting Machine: Function, Advantages, and Disadvantages

There are multiple metal cutters in the market. To cut thick metal sheets, plasma cutters are widely used.

Plasma cutting is a thermal cutting method where ionized gas is used to cut the metals. Plasma is the fourth state of matter found in the upper parts of the earth’s atmosphere. The polar lights are made of solar winds made of plasma. In daily life, we see a lot of electronic appliances like plasma TV, neon signs, fluorescent lamps, etc. To learn more about plasma cutters and to understand how they work, keep reading.

How Plasma Cutters Work?

Plasma cutters use thermal energy i.e. heat to cut the metals. They have compressed gas like nitrogen that is ionized. This ionization of gases creates palma. The compressed gas comes in contact with the electrode and the pressure is created to ionize the gas. Slowly the pressure builds up and the stream of plasma is pushed towards the cutting head. This head constricts the stream and then subjects it towards the workpiece. 

The plasma is conductive and so the workpiece is connected at the ground of the cutting cables. The plasma arc comes in contact with the metal and due to high temperature the metal melts. And at the same time the molten metal is blown away by the air flow.


As plasma cutters use heat to cut materials, there are parts in the cutter that require regular replacement. The hand held plasma cutter parts like nozzle, lenses, hypertherm powermax 85 consumables, etc. must be replaced regularly because they can affect the cutting quality if not in proper condition. Also, the quality of the consumables suggest how long they will last. The consumables must be replaced by the trained or certified technician because if they are not fixed properly, they can affect the quality of the cut, destroy the cutting sheet and also the machine in the worst case scenario. You must consider the maintenance charges and cost of replacement parts while setting a budget for the machine. 

Advantages of Plasma Cutting Machine

Here are some reasons you must invest in a plasma cutting machine.

  • Plasma cutters can cut almost all conductive materials
  • No need to warm up the laser cutter
  • They are suitable to cut thick metal sheets up to 50 mm to receive the best cut quality and maximum up to 150 mm
  • They are affordable
  • They are the best for stainless steel and aluminum
  • They have high precision
  • Also suitable for inwater cuts which can reduce noise levels as well
  • They are fast when compared to oxy fuel
  • Can be used for welding
  • Less risky

Disadvantages of Plasma Cutting Machine

No machine is perfect. Here are some disadvantages of the cutters which you must know before buying one.

  • The heat affected zone (HAZ) is larger compared to other laser machines
  • Requirement of hypertherm powermax 85 consumables is high and it can cost you more
  • They have better quality with thinner sheets and plates
  • They have less tolerances


The plasma cutter machine is best if your business requirement needs you to deal with multiple types of materials. The shelf life of the machine is long if they are maintained properly. The hand held plasma cutter parts require regular maintenance. You must clean them daily to ensure you have beautiful precise cuts every time you use it. The next thing is trying the first cut on a sample piece to avoid ruining the actual sheet. Once all the settings are proper, you can continue with larger orders.



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