Why is metal so hard to cut? Typically, electrically conductive materials are sturdy. Cutting then can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have the right tools.
Cutting metal sheets with a mere blade is tedious and energy draining. Here lies the reason, doing it manually requires a lot of energy. The sad news is that achieving a quality end product is not guaranteed.
A hot plasma cutter is a friend to the rescue. It easily splits even thick sheets of metal. All you need is to produce hot plasma, which will split the metal faster and efficiently. But how hot is a plasma cutter? Let’s find out.
Related: Harbor freight plasma cutter review
The heat from a plasma cutter
What is the temperature plasma cutter? Simply hot to generate heat of about 25,000 degrees Celsius.
- The flames are so intense that looking at them directly without protecting your eyes with special welding goggles or welding helmet can be dangerous.
- The heat from a plasma cutter can damage your eyesight and even cause blindness temporarily. In the worst-case scenario, it can lead to permanent blindness. However, this will depend on the heat intensity and time taken to expose your eyes.
How does it work?
- What are these gases? Argon, nitrogen, or oxygen. A plasma cutter cuts by sending electric arc, which penetrates through gas released and controlled through a small or tiny opening.
What are plasma cutter flames?
A plasma jet may reach high temperatures of up to 40,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This flame pierces through the metal workpiece, thereby blowing off the molten material leaving a well-trimmed metal piece cut.
- A plasma cutter has a capacity of converting three-phase or single-phase AC line into a smooth and constant DC voltage of 200 to 400VDC. Therefore it needs high voltage to cut.
- A plasma cutter using nitrogen and argon mixture gases to cut tough metals such as thick aluminum and steel metal sheets.
- The voltage settings determine the speed of the cutter.
- For you to achieve maximum benefits, it’s crucial to maintain correct voltage settings on your cutter.
- The plasma cutter regulates the current output needed according to the type of material and its thickness.
Learn more about how to setup a plasma cutter?
Plasma cutting safety measures
Plasma cutting, like any other industrial process, has its hazards as it uses high voltage electric power and gas, which is flammable.
- There is a generation of heat and spark in the process, and care must be taken.
- The plasma cutting arc at the initial process of piercing metal generates hot metal and sparks.
- The workpiece and the cutting torch get heated up and can burn and cause a fire.
- The flashes are too bright for the eyes, and hence, you need Safety glasses fitted with side shields.
- Your clothes are not safe, either. Flying sparks can burn them, and the solution is to wear flame-resistant clothes.
- It’s dangerous to keep matches or butane lighters in your pockets when you’re operating a plasma cutter. Plasma cutters’ heat is so intense and can cut even through the gloves and your skin.
Cooling a plasma torch
A plasma torch gets too hot while in operation and requires cooling to protect the electrode and nozzle from melting
- A coolant helps tone down high temperatures, which might damage the plasma torch.
- Coolant has a very thin opening where it’s released into the back of the electrode. It then moves through at high speed in order to carry away heat with ease.
- After cooling the electrode, the liquid will circulate back into the torch’s body. It then goes through a different outlet in order to cool the nozzle.
- The process of swirling the coolant in the outer side of the nozzle makes the nozzle last longer.
- The process is repeated so long as the plasma cutter is in operation.
- It exits the torch and returns to the cooler as long as the machine is on.
How hot is a plasma cutter? Is it hot than the sun?
A plasma cutter may not be hot than the sun; however, it’s hot enough to generate 40,000 degrees. With such heat magnitude, it’s vital to use your plasma cutter wisely.
Although a plasma regulates the amount of heat depending on the metal, a coolant can help tone down the excess heat of a plasma cutter. Here you will get 7 plasma cutter tips and tricks.
Our closing remarks
- A plasma cutter regulates the current output depending on the type of material and its thickness.
- Intense heat helps to cut hard metals such as carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel with ease.