Plasma Cutting Articles

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Plasma Cutting: Then and now

September 13, 2005 | By Matt Walsh

To get a better idea of just how far plasma cutting has coe, let's take a look at where it started and where it's headed.

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Making a clear-cut decision

May 10, 2005 | By Robert Ludwigson

Deciding what automated cutting equipment is best for your small or medium shop depends on many factors: part size, part thickness, part accuracy, parts quantity, computer skills, and machine payback, or return on investment.

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Optimizing consumable life in mechanized plasma cutting

October 12, 2004

If you don't stay on top of torch maintenance and replacing consumables, an efficient cutting process can quickly become a lot more expensive to operate.

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Plasma pleases plenty

June 8, 2004 | By Dan Davis

Technological developments in lasers are positioning them as an attractive alternative to plasma. But fabricators are still sticking with plasma cutting for many applications where speed and cost-effective operation are concerns.

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Gouging: The other plasma process

June 8, 2004 | By David Cook, Don Morong

Plasma gouging, although not necessarily as well-known as plasma cutting, is one of four methods of gouging that can be used for a variety of industrial applications. Different techniques bring about different results, depending on the application.

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Making plasma cutting easier

August 28, 2003 | By Kris Hanchette

For many people, the world of plasma cutting is a complex and daunting place, with a cryptic set of rules that can be mastered only by highly trained technicians after weeks of training. For every change of material or thickness being cut, a long process ensues of resetting gas mixtures, tweaking pierce heights and pierce delays, and manually calibrating every last parameter to ensure a reliable result.

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Mechanized plasma cutting for HVAC applications

March 13, 2003

Just 20 years ago most heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) ductwork was cut by hand with snips and shears. Cutting out HVAC fittings was slow and labor-intensive. It took an experienced tinsmith with strong hands to slice through galvanized steel all day. It took even more skill to get the cuts and bends just right to coax flat panels of sheet metal into precise 3-D forms.

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Plasma arc cutting torche

Cut it out: How fabricators use plasma cutters every day

August 29, 2002 | By Brian Schmidt

Many fabricators use plasma arc cutting torches every day, either to replace or complement saws, cut-off wheels, snips, and oxyfuel rigs. It can be used in a variety of applications—installing or remvoving HVAC/R equipment, plumbing systems, and industrial equipment; reparing equpment and systems; and cutting shapes consistently.

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Estimating your cutting costs

July 25, 2002 | By Al Julian

In comparing cutting costs associated with precision plasma, punch-plasma, and laser cutting, it's important to account for labor costs, operating costs, and depreciation. All three of these processes have benefits and drawbacks cost-wise, depending on how they're deployed.

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Exploring dry cutting technologies

June 13, 2002 | By David Cook

The evolution of high power dry plasma technology and other cutting methods, such as conventional dual gas PAC, water injection PAC, high precision PAC, and laser for metal fabrication. Variables such as, process speed, cut quality, productivity, and cost per foot are discussed in detail.

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Cut to the chase

April 15, 2002 | By John Brennan

This article outlines some of the benefits, limitations, and applications of plasma arc cutting. It also provides questions to ask when considering the process for your business.

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What to know before selecting a manual plasma cutter: Understanding size, power, components, cost

July 26, 2001 | By David Cook

The first plasma arc cutting (PAC) systems, developed in the '60s, were 1,000-amp monsters designed to blast through 6-inch stainless steel.

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Aluminum alloy table

Plasma cutting stainless steel and aluminum

July 12, 2001 | By Charles M. Hackett

This study conducted at Hypertherm characterizes thermal and chemical changes in plasma-cut stainless steel and aluminum alloys and recommends process alternatives that may improve aesthetics and cut quality to improve forming and fabricating of the materials. The systems used were water-injection PAC, conventional dual-gas PAC, and high-precision PAC. It was learned that the heat-affected zone (HAZ) is small in plasma-cut pieces, HAZ varies with speed and power, faster cutting produces less HAZ, and more heat per square inch can produce less HAZ.

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Using plasma arc cutting to clean-cut stainless steel sheet and plate

May 30, 2001 | By Stephen St. Hilaire

To clean-cut stainless steel sheet and plate, fabricators first must choose the right CNC cutting equipment and then set the correct process-related variables. Precise machine motion controls, torch-to-material distance control, and the correct plasma and assist gases all are crucial to producing weld-ready plasma-cut edges on all stainless steel thicknesses.

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Hand Held Plasma Cutter

Using a hand-held plasma cutter

May 30, 2001 | By Steve Hidden

Need to learn some techniques for cutting, piercing, and gouging with a hand-held plasma cutter? Read on for six steps to follow when cutting; information about gouging; and tips on maintenance.

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