The Plasma Cutter

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					The Plasma Cutter
     By: Bob Arlt
               What is it?
A method of cutting
metal by sending an
electric arc through a
gas that is passing
through a constricted
 History of the Plasma Cutter
Originated almost 50 years ago, during the
height of World War II
In an effort to improve the joining of
aircraft materials, a method of welding
using inert gas around an electric arc was
Started seeing commercial use in the 60’s
In the ensuing years, manufactures have
realized the benefit even small shop
owners could derive from being able to
burn metals
          What is Plasma?
The 4th state of matter
(solid, liquid, and gas
are the other 3).
Plasma behaves
much differently than
a neutral gas. It is an
extremely hot gas that
is charged, and
therefore conducts
electrical current.
     How does it cut metal?
An electric arc is sent
through a gas that is
passing through a
restricted opening.
The gas squeezes
through at a high
This high speed gas
cuts through the
molten metal
   Differences between Plasma
Torches and Oxy-Acetylene cutting
       PLASMA               OXY-ACETYLENE
 use electricity to heat   flame produces heat
 can used compressed       requires oxygen and
 air – pure oxygen not     acetylene, set a
 necessary                 proper pressures
 can cut non-ferrous       doesn’t cut non-
 metals                    ferrous metal
 tip may contact metal     tip must be off metal
 while cutting             while cutting
         Parts and Controls

          Pressure gauge
Switch                         Ground Clamp

          Pressure regulator

       Safety and Hazards
Watch your eyes –
wear goggles (shade
Avoid burns – wear
Check area around
for potential dangers
Keep fingers clear of
cutting path
Be smart!
        Before you Begin
Wear proper safety equipment
Check compressor – is it on and is the
pressure correct?
Make sure amperage dial is set
for metal thickness
Connect ground clamp
      You’re Ready to Cut
Turn on the power
Hold the torch barely off the edge of the
metal to be cut
Flip the yellow safety up, then pull the
Lightly drag the tip along the metal at an
even pace – slow it down as metal
thickness increases
Use a cheater or pattern for precise cuts
   We’re done – Now what?
Turn off the Plasma Cutter
Coil the torch neatly around the hook
Be careful when grabbing metal – it’s
probably hot!
Remove any scraps from table
Show Mr. Arlt your awesome cut!

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