Plasma cutting is one of those services that every metal fabrication company wants to be able to do. Using the plasma cutter lets customization happen on every possible level of every project if it needs it. Here at Cadet Steel, we are honored and excited to be able to give our clientele the best possible product using our plasma cutter. But how does it work? What can we use it for? It sounds like something out of science fiction—is it? There are a lot of questions to ask about the cutter; and this blog will answer most of them.
What is It? How Does it Work?
Plasma cutters work by utilizing a high-speed jet of ionized gas out of the bottom of a torch tip. This gas is the plasma part of the cutter, it works like waterjet cutting. But instead of using high-pressure water, we use gas that is moving at a super-high speed. The speed of the gas starts to melt the metal until the pieces that are being cut get blown away leaving cuts that are specific to your needed dimensions.
Plasma cutters require only a few things to be functional, including a power supply that will not fail the in the middle of a cut. Also, a starting console is important, because that is the thing that creates a spark for the plasma to turn hot. The plasma torch is cool because it helps you to find the perfect precision needed from each cut; the result is the same from rolled sheet metal to galvanized metals, even stainless steel and aluminum.
Where did It Come From?
Before plasma cutting, plasma welding was a new hot thing in the 1960s. By the 1980s, plasma cutting had taken over many shop floors because of its superior abilities in cutting, rather than joining. These first versions were expensive and big, making them common only for large corporations with a lot of similar products. But these days plasma cutting is inexpensive, fast, and in demand especially when creating difficult customized options in steel creations.
Why Use Plasma Cutters?
There are many, many ways of achieving a nice cut in metal. Every type of cut and type of metal responds differently to a particular cutter. Plasma cutting is particularly good at cutting through metal that has electrical elements—but it is also very effective for time and cost these days. Even with thicker material, plasma cutting has become a good option, where in the past it was less reliable. Place a plasma cutter up against a waterjet and you may be surprised to find that in all areas, the plasma cutter beats the waterjet, multiple times over.
Are there Different Versions?
Just like with almost everything these days, there are different variations of plasma cutters. Their different uses are due to using the right tool for the right material, but it also depends on the type of cutter head that is being used.
Two-Dimensional Plasma Cutting: This is the most common form of plasma cutting. This is what is happening when a plasma cutter is cutting straight down into the face of a piece of metal. It produces perfect 90 degree angles every time.
Three-Dimensional Plasma Cutting: This is another common version of plasma cutting, but instead of being in a locked down position, the head of the cutter is allowed to rotate, producing angles lines instead of a 90% up and down. These cutters can cut at 45-degree angles, even 30-degree angles.
Conventional Plasma Systems: This is what a lot of shops use, trading precise cutting for fast and powerful cutting.
Precision Plasma Systems: This is what we use in our shop, using a mix of gases to create an ultra-precise cut every time.
Call Cadet Steel for More
Cadet Steel is your local high-quality, custom, metal fabricator. We can create anything that you need or want. We’ve been in Commerce City, Colorado since 1976—so we know how to get you results that surpass your expectations, with customer service to match. We are your one stop shop for everything metal fabrication. To find out want we can do for your next project, give us a call. Or, to find out more about what we do and how we do it, look at our blog page to read posts created with you in mind. We look forward to hearing from you and starting your project.