The operation of a plasma cutter is actually really simple, it requires a steady grip and you are ready to start the cutting process. However, the challenging part of using a plasma cutter is when you are making an arc through the material.
It is advisable that you take time to choose the most suitable plasma cutter for your application as well as compatible accessories. Plasma cutters have come in handy to artists, fabricators, contractors as well as do it your selfers. It has increased productivity and the cost of cutting has been lowered, it is much faster and can cut through all types of metals.
How to use a Plasma Cutter
- Select your suitable work location: When cutting materials like metals, ensure that your surface is safe and steady as well as efficient for moving around when making cuts. Surfaces such as a raised grate can be suitable as a base.
- Connect the unit: Make sure that the switch of the socket and the unit is off before plugging in the unit.
- Attach the air: To make that the machine remains in high pressure, connect it to an external air compressor by removing the female flange connection and attach the male connection.
- Turn on the air: Make sure that the air is on by turning the lever at a ninety degrees turn.
- Fasten the ground clamp: Place the metal that you going to cut on the working space and then attach the ground clamp near the area you will cutting.
- Turn on the plasma cutter: At the back of the machine, near the unit turn on the switch to ON for it to start working.
- Adjust the current: Set the current according to the type of material you will be cutting. Depending on the thickness of the metal.
- Start cutting: Before cutting pull up the safety near the trigger, then pull the trigger to start cutting. Ensure that the nozzle is close to the metal, follow the guide that surrounds the nozzle in order to cut through the traces. When through cutting the metal ensure that you switch the machine off, remove the ground clamp, turn off the air and plug out the unit from the power source.
- Make sure that you place the drag shield on the edge of the base metal. Then ensure that the arc is directed straight down.
- Turn on the trigger, after a few seconds of flowing air, the pilot arc starts.
- When the cutting arc becomes functional, move the torch across the metal.
- Set the speed of cutting such that the cutting sparks are able to go through the metal.
- When about to reach the end of the cut, ensure that the torch is angled slightly to the last edge so as to cut it completely.
- Post flow air continues few seconds after you release the trigger in order to cool the torch.
1. Equipment for measuring plasma flow
Plasmacutteradvisor recommends that it is essential to have a plasma flow measuring kit in order to know the definite amount of plasma flow passing through your plasma cutter. It is required you read the instructions that came with your plasma cutter or find help from the company of the plasma cutter. Getting a measuring kit will help you to know the amount of flow coming out of your plasma cutter and enable you to regulate it.
2. Wheel kit
The accessory becomes convenient when you have to move your plasma cutter from one place to another .Especially if the plasma cutter is heavy and difficult to transport it with bare hands, the wheel kit will help to move it around with ease and efficiency.
3. Cup and nozzle
A nozzle is a metal located at the tip of plasma torch where flames of hot plasma come from. The nozzle wears out after some time due to the heat, therefore, it requires to be changed. However, there are some plasma cutters which have a feature known as pilot arc whereby the material which is being cut and the torch do not come into contact. These types of consumables normally come in pieces some can come in 40 pieces. The nozzles and electrodes are made from pure copper. Nozzle electrode is not the same for all plasma cutters.
The torches are very expensive and should be taken well care off to avoid incurring costs. However, if your plasma torch gets destroyed at some point, it is advisable to replace it from trusted stores to ensure it is original. The torch should be protected with a cover to avoid damages. Plasma cutter manufacturers give the plasma torches as accessories during purchases.
5. Hand switch remote
Not all plasma cutters come with this the hand switch remote it is best to first check if your plasma cutter is compatible with the remote. The switch helps you to control the plasma cutter from a distance, some people find this remote convenient for operating the plasma cutter.
6. Guide for plasma cutting
The guide for cutting very essential for mostly beginners who have not mastered the way to cut out straight lines or circle. Helps you with guidelines to follow while working.
7. Head protectors
In order to protect your plasma torch and avoid their damage, it is advisable to get it a head protector which protects it from the molten metal which may damage the torch if it gets into contact.
Lastly, it is advisable to pair the plasma cutter accessories correctly depending on the amperage, do not use a lower amperage or higher since it might destroy. Plasma cutters are convenient and easily portable. Considering cost before purchase is important. Get to know the price of the plasma cutter’s components in case you will need a replacement in future. Also check its duty cycle, the quality of the cut, the speed, the amount of labor and clean up required after the tasks.