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Tips for Using a Plasma Cutter

Plasma cutting is a precious tool for getting fast, neat cuts in steel, aluminum, or stainless. This is possible through the use of plasma cutters that fuse a high-pressure air or gas flow with an electric arc. The heat could get to a temperature of up to 40,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Below are some things to keep in mind while using a plasma cutter:

First, Safety

Though plasma cutting is not as bright as welding, you need to proceed like it is. Ensure you wear flame-retardant clothes and hair protection. Put on glasses #5 eye protection and work in a safe location. Know your surroundings. Remember that the heat and light can be great, and you should ensure your safety.
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Each time you notice that your cuts are losing their sharpness, you might need to change some or all of the components of the cutting head. Usually, this could consist of a heat shield, contact tip, insulators, nozzle, and offset tool. It’s essential that you check the availability of such consumables when you buy your plasma cutter. Select a current model with a convenient process for ordering parts.

The Importance of Moisture

To work efficiently, plasma cutters require clean, dry air. Moisture is the main culprit of parts losing efficiency and turning bad. There are some things you can do to delay the effects of moisture, and restrain it to a bare minimum. Provide 25 to 30 feet of line between the moisture trap and from the air compressor. The moisture trap will work more efficiently if the air has an opportunity to cool first.

Buy an air drier that makes use of silica gel to bring out moisture from the air. Get two, in fact – they are cheap. These can be set up at the compressor and at the water trap to extend the life of your consumables. The air driers themselves are going to be easier and cheaper to replace compared to the plasma cutter parts.

Cutting Speed

You have to cut at the correct speed. If you’re new to plasma cutting, it could take you a few attempts to get it dialed in well. Among the best signs is the direction of the sparks while you’re cutting. If you cut too quickly, the sparks move towards you. Relax and slow it down. The sparks and dross should go towards the floor.

The Angle

Often, you would hold the plasma cutter at 90-degree angle to what you are cutting. Reaching the end of a cut, pull the angle up a bit to make for a beautifully smooth end of cut. If there’s some dross on your cut’s underside, a small file should take care of that pretty well.