A plasma cutter is a piece of equipment that has become highly popular in recent years for its ability to quickly and accurately cut through metals. As you may expect, it is the type of equipment that can be utilized across all sorts of different industries, and there is no doubt that many businesses make the most of it on a daily basis. What sort of materials can CNC plasma cutting work on? Well, it is the metals that conduct electricity. We are going to go into more detail about this later in the blog post, but first, we need to look at plasma cutting closer to find out what it is all about.
Before we look at the different types of metal that can be worked on with this cutting system, we first need to look closer and what plasma cutting actually is. Well, it is essentially a quick and easy way that has been developed to cut through metals that conduct electricity in a straight line. The oxy fuel cutting and oxy fuel torch can be done with different machine types, including those that are handheld with a pilot arc.
Now that we know more about what plasma cutting actually is, we should think about exactly how it works and get some cutting tips. Essentially, it uses DC voltage that will warm up compressed air to a high temperature. When this has happened, the ionized gas will cause a plasma arc to be created, which will then flow through the cutting tip to give it the level of accuracy and travel speed required to produce a high cut quality.
We already established that plasma cutting machines are specifically designed to cut through metals with a cutting head, and it is the ones that conduct electricity that it is known for getting through, including stainless steel, mild steel, carbon steel, expanded steel, copper, brass, aluminium, and anything else that is conductive.
Of course, the cutting process cannot be used on everything. The cutting methods require the metal needs to be able to conduct electricity otherwise it will not react properly to the ionized gas that is coming through the torch. In short, it needs to be a conductive material that you are cutting through. This means that cutting should not be attempted on other material types, including glass, wood, plastic, and any metals that are widely known to be poor conductors of electricity.
Now, you may be wondering about the thickness of the material that laser cutting can get through. It tends to be that a handheld device will be able to get through up to 38mm of steel, whereas an industrial model has the power to get through 150mm when needed. The type of metal that you are cutting through is also going to make a difference here.
So, in conclusion, it is the conductive metals that can be cut through with plasma cutting machines.