When we look at potential plasma cutter torches, there are a few options from which to choose. At EZCutCNC, we carry a selection of air plasma cutters, mixed-gas plasma cutters, and Hi-Def plasma cutters. There are advantages that make certain types of cutters more appealing for particular applications and fabrication needs than others. The three types we are referring to are the consumables used by the plasma torch. Below is a closer look at the 3 types of plasma cutters carried at EZCutCNC.
3 Types of Plasma Cutters Carried at EZCutCNC
- Air Plasma Cutter
- Air plasma cutters use clean dry air to generate a plasma stream, as Lincoln Electric notes, “Conventional plasma systems typically use shop air as the plasma gas, and the shape of the plasma arc is basically defined by the orifice of the nozzle.”
- Mixed-Gas Plasma Cutter
- Mixed-gas plasma cutting refers to when there is a combination of gases used that get swirled together to make a plasma stream. Mixed-gas plasma offers some advantages because it may be ideal for cutting certain types of materials or thicknesses. ESAB Knowledge elaborates on mixed-gas, “Argon-Hydrogen Mixtures are generally used for cutting stainless steel and aluminum. They produce a clean, high quality cut face. Argon-Hydrogen is required for mechanized cutting of any material more than 3 inches thick. This mixture also provides an excellent gas for plasma gouging on all materials.”
- Hi-Def Plasma Cutter
- One additional type of plasma cutter is a Hi-Def plasma cutter. This type of plasma cutter is unique in that it the cuts produced are simply top-of-the-line, which Hypertherm explores further, “In this process, a specialized nozzle design narrows the arc and increases energy density. Because of the higher arc energy, high definition plasma achieves superior cut quality on materials up to 50 mm (2”) with superior cut edge angularity, narrower kerf and higher cut speeds than conventional plasma cutting technology. It’s not uncommon with these systems to achieve cut part accuracies within the +/- 0.25 mm (0.010″) range. Today’s high definition systems allow very high levels of automation, and are intended for automated applications only…With high definition plasma, cut holes are round and have virtually no taper. Edges are square and dross free. Cut-to-cut cycle times allow much higher levels of productivity.”