Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

What is top spatter dross?

While cutting, metal droplets are sometimes sprayed on the top of the cut pieces, where they solidify. We call this top spatter and it is easy to remove. The reason may be a too fast cutting speed, worn nozzle or high standoff of the torch. If, due to these problems, the plasma jet swirling flow is not optimally directed, the molten material is flung out in front of the kerf rather than down through it.

How could I eliminate top spatter?

1. The nozzle must be periodically checked for wear.
2. The speed should be decreased in 12mm per minute (5ipm) increments.
3. The standoff should be decreased 1.5 mm (1/16 in) increments or 5 volt increments.

What is Surface Finish Roughness?

Cut face roughness can be consistent or inconsistent and a result of wrong configuration of the machine, badly serviced machine or worn consumables. Please check:
1. Incorrect Shield gas mixture.
2. Worn or damaged consumables
3. Too high air flow.
4. Machine faults like dirty rails, wheels and/or drive rack/pinion.
5. Carriage wheel adjustment

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a water table?

We can supply our Plasma Cutting machines with water tables, if the customer so wishes, because such a table has some advantages:
a. water muffles the sound of the plasma cutter,
b. parts can be kept cooler and will not distort,
c. fumes are pushed into the water rather than the atmosphere,
d. less power is needed compared to a fume extraction table,
e. the table is silent except for when its raising or lowering the water and
f. there is no need to purchase an expensive fume extraction system.
There are also disadvantages with such a solution:
a. Good plumbing installation needed and easy access to water.
b. The user has bad or no optical control of the cutting process.
c. Some delay in the process because of the time needed to lower and raise the water level or the cutting table.
d. (And most important) Cut quality is noticeably lower than the one of cuts made by the same machine in the air.

What industries use Plasma Cutters?

Many different industries use Plasma for cutting, for example because of its bigger thickness cutting capabilities. Many companies in the heavy engineering sectors use plasma to efficiently cut thick steel plate that would not be suitable for Laser.

How does Plasma compare to Laser?

2D profile cutting industry makes good use of both cutting disciplines and both excel in different jobs. Lasers are best for thin gauge material whereas plasma cutters are best at cutting thicker sheets. As Laser resonators are getting more and more powerful and High Definition plasma systems cutting gets better and better there is now a large cross over between the two. The best way to see which technology is right for your company is to talk with an expert about the thickness of material needing to be cut, the amount of work needing to be processed, the finish and accuracy needed and the rough budget for the machine.

How does Plasma compare to Oxyfuel?

A Plasma cutting machine is capable of cutting material much faster than oxyfuel, but plasma is only capable of piercing material up to 50mm thick. Plasma is also able to cut a larger range of material and transfers much less heat into material than oxyfuel. Often plasma cutting torches and oxyfuel cutting torches are mounted on the same CNC cutting machine to give the machine a larger range of processing thicknesses, for example 3mm - 150+mm. For most work Plasma is more efficient than Oxyfuel as 90% of steel cut is less than 50mm thick and if you were to compare some suitable Plasma Cutting system to an oxyfuel system it would process 50mm mild steel more than twice as fast.

What Materials can be cut on a Plasma Cutter?

Plasma Cutters are able to cut all electro conductive materials including Mild Steel, Aluminum, Copper and Stainless Steel. Stainless Steel can only be cut with Plasma. The most popular material cut in the industry is mild steel, which also gives the best cutting results.

What thickness of material can be cut with Plasma?

Generally Plasma is used to cut mild steel between 3mm - 50mm thick, though there are many customers in the industry cutting both thinner and thicker material.