Plasma Cutting Process, Parts, and Basic Principles
Plasma cutting is an alternative to oxy- fuel cutting, laser, and water jet cutting. It is quicker, less expensive and provides smoother cuts to materials. The process is fairly simple and uses power source to perpetuate the gas forward.
Plasma arcs are formed between an electrode and the work piece. It is constricted by a fine jewel and copper nozzle. Similar to water jet cutting the orifice is small and allows for high pressure plasma to pass through. The plasma increases in temperature and velocity through this small opening. The temperature of plasma can exceed 36,032°F and its velocity like other cutters can approach the speed of sound.
The plasma needs a power source to push the electricity through. The voltage to sustain plasma and keep it from drooping its 50 V-60V. Once ignited the pilot arc is formed within the troche’s body. This spark occurs within the electrode and the nozzle. The arc must be transferred to the piece which is called a transfer arc. The electrode has a negative polarity and the work piece has a positive polarity.