Tap to Read ➤

Information About CNC Plasma Cutters

Marlene Alphonse Apr 20, 2019
A CNC plasma cutter is a piece of machinery which employs superheated gases to cut metal sheets. This tool is used for cutting through metals of different thickness. It is available in many machinery stores and can be even purchased online. Here's more...
The recently discovered fourth state of matter, plasma, is a good conductor of heat and electricity, and consists of positively charged ions, electrons (negatively charged molecules), and neutrally charged molecules. Since plasma can withstand extreme temperatures, it is used in metal industries which employ plasma cutters to cut through metal sheets.
This technology is being used worldwide for the easy cutting of metal sheets of varied thickness. Many manufacturing and metal industries using these cutters are of the opinion that it is one of the best machine tools to cut metals.

What is a CNC Plasma Cutter?

As the name suggests, a Computer Numerical Controlled plasma cutter is a tool whose working is controlled with the help of a computer, using software like CAD/CAM. Computer Aided Design (CAD) is a manufacturing software which is used to create the layout and design of the desired component to be produced.
The design can be verified on the computer screen and changes can be made before getting down to the real task. Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is a programming tool for the cutter, which uses a numerical control to convert the design to a CNC code, which makes it easier to control the tool.
Nowadays, portable plasma cutters are used by artists in their workshops. Also, there are many DIY kits available in the market, using which you can make your own portable, homemade CNC cutter.

How Does a CNC Plasma Cutter Work?

Steel and other metal sheets of varied thickness can be cut using a process known as plasma cutting, where a plasma torch or gun is used. An inert or compressed gas is blown at a very high speed out of a nozzle and directed towards the desired object to be cut.
When the gas comes in contact with the metal surface, there is a formation of an electrical arc. Some of the gas released through the nozzle converts into plasma, which has very high temperatures that can cut the metal. The remaining gas blows away the molten metal from the cut making room for further cutting.
Plasma has an extreme temperature up to 45,000 °F (25,000 ºC) and the sparks fly at great speed. So, safety glasses and face shields are used to protect the eyes and face from the temperature and debris.
There are different types of industrial cutters that employ different techniques for cutting metals. The conduction of current and the thickness of the metal sheet are taken into consideration before getting to the task. The physical properties of the metal to be cut also play a major role in determining the accuracy and depth of the cut.
CNC plasma cutters are available according to their electric capacity. For industries, plasma cutters use electricity up to 1,000 amperes and cut 12 to 15 inch thick metal sheets. On a smaller scale, portable cutters are available that use up to 10 to 20 amperes and are compact in size.
These cutters have made a huge impact on the manufacturing industry, especially in the automobile, airplane, and shipbuilding industries. Due to their precision and speed, these cutters are ideal for bulk production.