How To Use a Plasma Cutter For Metal Piercing?
What once was considered difficult has now been made simple, thanks to the ever evolving technology. Hard metals such as carbon steel, aluminum, stainless steel can now be cut and pierced through with ease using equipment such as a plasma cutter.
These powerful machines have become increasingly popular throughout the last 60 years for several reasons, and that is they are just so handy, portable, useful, and won’t cost a fortune.
Plasma cutting machines come in various sizes that range from a compact handheld manual cutter which can be used personally in the domestic front, to large commercial cutters that can be controlled by computers and robotic commands. When it comes to cost and productivity, this has far exceeded the other conventional methods and mechanical procedures. Given the speed at which it works, the time taken to pierce and cut through the metal and finish a job.
One of the best moves made by manufacturers of plasma machines would be the development of muti-functionalities. That’s why you may notice that companies such as Miller, Esab, Lincoln and Hypertherm have built cutters that not only cuts through metal, but can also do metal piercing and plasma gouging. When there is a need for a complicated and in depth hole to be made through a solid metal, this wonderful device handles it with ease.
However, metal piercing is not as easy as many people think, especially with a plasma cutter. The handling method is very important, because if there is a mistake, not only may the metal crack or break, but the cutter torch may also get damage as a result of incorrect piercing technique.
Before you attempt metal piercing, it is vitally important that you take all preliminary precautions to safeguard your body, your face and eyes. Plasma cutters do generate high UV rays, extreme heat and spark which can cause severe burns and other hazards. And the gas that emanates can also cause different diseases. Therefore, please ensure you are wearing the proper safety pack to avoid putting yourself in any danger.
Here are some metal piercing tips:
1) Keep a maximum transfer distance between the work piece and the tip of the torch. This will help prevent your torch, nozzle and shield from getting damaged. To find this gap, please read the instruction menu or contact your manufacturer’s help desk for further support.
2) Use the right combination of gas for the best performance and result. By combining the right gases to work with your cutter, it can reduce the piercing time as well as offering a quality finish.
3) Once the plasma arc is initiated, make sure the torch is at a 90 degrees angle facing the metal piece. This will ensure the hole is cut perfectly at a straight angle.
4) Always read the instructions for the piercing capability of your plasma cutter. Another good rule to follow is never pierce anything over ½ of the machine’s cutting capacity.
5) If you’re doing manual plasma piercing, steady hands are very important and if you want to longer the consumable life, it is recommended that you split up your piercing job into 2 or more sessions depending on the thickness of metal piece.
While plasma cutters nowadays come with advanced controls, the person who is actually using the cutter can also lengthen its part’s life by using the device properly. There are advanced functions such as the auto pilot current control that adjusts itself for different situations. Yet another interesting and useful idea would be the Oxygen pierce metal diverter control. This ensures that whenever you’re doing metal piercing, the cutter will clear the area of debris that occurs in the process and will reduce double arcing.
As you can see, manufacturers have done their part to ensure the machine does its job while lasting! The rest is up to us as users to follow the right guidelines and use them with love. Playing with metal can be so much fun and with tools such as plasma cutter, the sort of work you can do is only limited by your own creativity and imagination. It is no doubt an amazing invention and because of it, now everyone from a professional fabricator to art lovers and creators, can have a say on how metal looks.