CNC Plasma Cutter

Using CNC plasma cutting technology, the plasma torch will blow the inert gas out of the nozzle at high speed through the arc, thereby converting some of the gas into plasma. This is why this machine is called plasma cutting machine. Even though there are various types of machines on the market today, plasma cutting machines are still considered to be the fastest and most effective solution for cutting conductive materials up to 3 inches thick.

Programmed plasma cutting

Through programming, CNC plasma cutting process has excellent cutting speed, piercing speed, and can achieve extremely accurate cutting quality. The range in CNC cutting machines is very wide. Another common one is the CNC waterjet cutter, which can use a mixture of pressurized water and abrasives for cutting.

Some plasma cutter suppliers build CNC cutting tables, and some have the cutter built into the table. CNC tables allow a computer to control the torch head producing clean sharp cuts for the operation. Modern CNC plasma cutter is capable of multi-axis cutting of thick materials. For thinner materials, laser cutting machines are gradually replacing plasma cutting because of their excellent hole cutting capabilities.


Mechanism of plasma cutting

In plasma cutting technology, it is necessary to create an electrical channel that generates overheated ionized gas. The plasma generated by the plasma cutter itself passes through the work piece to be cut, and then returns to the plasma cutter through the circuit.

This process is completed by compressed gas, which can be oxygen, air, inert gas and other suitable gases, and then blows the gas at high speed toward the work piece through the focusing nozzle. Then an electrical arc is formed within the gas.

Meanwhile, the arc ionizes some gases, thereby creating a electrically conductive channel for the plasma. The electricity from the torch travels down the plasma and provides enough heat to melt the work piece. At the same time, many high-speed plasmas and compressed gases blow away and separate the molten metal, which means cutting through the work piece.


Development of the plasma technology

Looking back on history, plasma cutting originated from plasma welding in the 1960s and became a very effective way of cutting sheet metal and plates in the 1980s. Compared with traditional metal cutting, it has the following advantages: no metal chips are produced, the cutting is accurate, and the cutting edge is cleaner.

Early plasma cutting machines were large, slow and expensive, so they were mostly used for mass production. Like other machine tools, from the late 1980s to the late 1990s, CNC (computer numerical control) technology was also applied to the plasma cutting machine, which gave the plasma cutting machine greater flexibility and versatility. The user can program a series of cutting instructions into the CNC system as required. However, these CNC plasma cutters can usually only be used to cut patterns on flat steel plates.


Cutting range

Plasma cutting is an effective method for cutting thin or thick materials. Hand-held torches can usually cut steel plates with a thickness up to 38 mm. A more powerful computer-controlled torch can cut steel plates up to 150 mm thick.

In addition, since the plasma cutting machine generates very hot and very concentrated cones, it is also particularly suitable for cutting curved or angled metal plates.


Conclusion

Since the invention of plasma technology, it has been used in the industrial field for a long time. This technology is difficult to manage, but it is very efficient for the cutting process, because it can use the thermal plasma in accelerated spray to cut conductive materials including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, brass and copper. These are the most common materials in industrial practice.

Because the plasma cutting machine adopts a very complicated working mechanism design, therefore, machine users must undergo complete training to manage this high-tech processing equipment. In addition to machine operation, regular machine maintenance and personnel safety issues are a major issue.

Therefore, with the popularity of plasma cutting machines in the market, plasma cutting machine manufacturers must establish a good communication channel with machine users. When technical problems occur, professional technicians can provide immediate help to make the working environment safe and efficient.

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