How To Get The Best Metal Cut Quality?
Plasma Cutting is a method adopted in which a gas is thrown out of a compressed outlet which when it comes out with great pressure is heated at an extremely high temperature. This gets the energy in the form of electric arc that has the power to melt even the most solid metals as long as they are electrically conductive. One needs to know how effectively it can be used to enjoy the maximum advantage out of it.
Normally a plasma cutter is only used to cut through metal to give it the desire shape and size, regardless of smoothness. However, at times the user may require a better look and finish, in which a smooth edge and straight cut is vitally, if not the most important. Let’s face it, a beautifully designed metal product with a rough finish and considerable amount of dross is sure to loose the charm and attraction. Even though a filer can be used to rectify some, but it just won’t be the same.
For the best metal cut quality and better performance one need to have the basic idea about how a plasma cutter works, how it is to be handled with your hands, how the controls are to be set, what amps are appropriate for what metal and of what thickness. So before beginning to use a cutter, read its manual in detail and try to understand it. Though initially, if you are a new user, you may face some hiccups and not get the fine cut at the first instance due to the steady and requisite pace required, but don’t be too discourage by it. This is particularly true for hand held units.
With every step of it, you are sure to get steady and improve. Your hands should get acquainted with the vibrations that it causes and it should be steady. This can be termed as “Machine Motion Control”. When the torch with the electric arc is used, it should be kept at the correct distance from the material. Too close or too far may cause blunt cuts, deeper than required cuts and possibly failure to consumable parts.
The gas used in the process also contributes to the cut quality. Nitrogen is more effective when used on stainless steel. Oxygen can be avoided as it results in a rough and oxidized edge. A proper height needs to be maintained and this may vary with the thickness of the metal. This not only ensures a proper cut but also safeguards the nozzle and shield cap from being damaged.
Depending upon the thickness of the metal that needs to be cut, the voltage and speed is to be set. Thicker the metal, higher the voltage needs to be. But the speed needs to be set depending upon the steadiness of the operator’s hand that dealing with it. If this is a mismatch, it may very well spoil the whole quality of the metal being cut.
The best thing would be to give a dry run on a similar kind of metal piece and know in detail the fine tuning methods and then get ready to show your skill on the actual piece. With the correct cutter, proper handling and safety measures one can transform an otherwise drab metal into a piece of art or a useful stuff with a clean finish.