Favoured by automotive repair shops, fabrication shops, industrial construction sites and salvage operations due to their high speeds and precision cuts, plasma cutters can be used to cut through a wide range of materials, including stainless steel, brass, aluminium, and copper.
However, can they cut through very thick material? This is a typical question that many people have asked in the past before buying their plasma cutter, and it is sensible to do so. Let’s take a closer look below.
Our high-end plasma cutting machines use compressed air and special gas to produce a plasma reaction that can cut through metals such as aluminium and stainless steel. In fact, any conductive metal is well suited for using a plasma cutter, including:
That being said, the thicker a metal is, the more hazardous it can be. You should expect sparks to be produced, so you need to ensure you are sticking to your machine’s cutting capacity and that you are taking all the necessary safety precautions.
Plasma cutters provide an effective way to cut both thin and thick materials. However, depending on the machine that you choose, they do have their limitations.
Typically, a handheld plasma torch can cut up to 38mm (1.5 inches) thick steel plate. Whereas, if you need something a bit more powerful, an industrial computer-controller torch can cut steel up to 150mm (6 inches) thick.
You also need to consider the type of metal that you are cutting. For example, if you are cutting a piece of mild steel, you will experience faster and thicker cuts than with alloys.
Many plasma cutting power sources are rated on both their cutting ability and their amperage. If you want to mostly cut ¼ inch thick materials, you should opt for a low amperage plasma cutter. However, if you regularly cut metals that are around ½ inch thick, then you will need to seek out a higher amperage unit.
If you choose a plasma cutter that operates at the limit of its cutting capacity, both your cutting speed and the quality of your cuts will be affected.
Each one of our plasma cutting units has an optimal range of cutting thickness so that you can easily match the machine to your needs.
Carry out Tests to Help you Decide
If you are not sure which plasma cutter to choose, it can be a good idea to test cuts on a number of different machines, travelling at the same rate of speed on the same thickness of material so that you can see which one offers the highest quality of cut.
You should also look for a machine that provides a quick transfer from pilot arc to cutting arc at a large transfer height, as this will ensure you have better support when cutting.
If you are still not entirely sure whether a plasma cutter is the right choice for your cutting needs, or you need help on choosing the right plasma cutting machine, contact us here and our knowledgeable team will do their best to answer your questions.