Metal cutting can be difficult, considering the various metal properties that can come into play during the cutting process. There are two main types of metal cutting processes: mechanical and thermal. Stainless steel plasma cutting is a great method to securely cut stainless steel plates and sheets without causing much material loss. This blog explores everything you need to know about stainless steel plasma cutting and its major advantages.
What is Plasma, and how does stainless steel plasma cutting work?
Plasma is the fourth state of matter and is usually found in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. It is an electrically conductive matter that appears in an ionised gas-like presence. Plasma can be found in lightning and high-temperature flames. We also see plasma in our daily lives, including TVs, neon signs, and plasma cutters. Through intense heating, a gas can be transformed into plasma, thus the name ionised gas. Plasma has dual nature properties; it can appear as gas and at the same time have similar behaviour to liquids when subjected to magnetic and electrical fields.
How stainless steel plasma cutting works?
Plasma cutting is a thermal cutting method involving heat as the cutting tool instead of using a mechanical tool. Plasma cutters use compressed air, and the ionisation of these gases creates plasma. As the compressed gas comes in contact with the electrode, ionisation takes place, creating more pressure. The pressure built-up with the consistent stream of plasma is responsible for the cutting action.
The tip of the cutting tool governs the proper stream of plasma that the material is subjected to. Plasma conducts electricity and requires the workpiece to be connected for earthing. As the arc of the plasma comes in contact with the metal, the high temperature created causes the metal to be cut at the point of contact. Additionally, the high-pressure gases blow the chippings away from the molten metal area.
The advantages of stainless steel plasma cutting
- The method can be used to cut any type of conductive material
- Maintains quality even if the metal thickness is up to 100 mm
- It is a cheaper and more affordable method of cutting
- It can be used for water metal cutting
- Smaller cutting kerf