Plasma cutting may sound like science fiction to some, but those in the steel fabrication industry know that using plasma is one of the best ways to cut metal. Recent technological developments have made plasma cutting quicker, more cost efficient and easier to use than other means of cutting metal.
What is it?
Before we get to the advantages of using it, people may want to know what it actually is. Plasma cutting works by passing an arc of plasma in a stream of gas through a small, copper hole on the end of the torch. The electrons in the arc blast through the hole at incredibly high speeds and are able to cut metals that are conductive.
Plasma is perfect for steel fabrication in Phoenix, AZ because mild and stainless steel are two of the more conductive metals. Copper, aluminum, brass, titanium and a host of other metals are also conductive and used in plasma cutting.
What are the advantages?
If you’re cutting one of the afore mentioned metals, you should consider using a plasma cutter over other metal cutters for several reasons:
- Speed: Faster cutting equals faster production. Plasma systems are faster than their oxy-fuel counterparts for steel up to 50 mm thick and are competitive with oxy-fuel cutters for thicker pieces of metal. Plasma is also faster than laser cutting for metal over 3 mm thick. It’s been proven that plasma cutters can pay for themselves in about six months.
- Lower cost: On top of a quicker return on investment, plasma cutters are cheaper to operate and less expensive to purchase. It costs half the amount of money to cut 12 mm thick steel with a plasma cutter than it would to an use oxy-fuel cutter. Plasma cutters also don’t use as much energy as other systems which will save money each month on your utility bills. Most plasma cutters are also durable so you don’t need to worry about replacing them very often.
- Easier to use: Unlike other metal cutters, plasma cutters don’t require much training to operate. Using plasma for steel fabrication in Phoenix, AZ will save your company money on training costs of employees. Plasma cutting torches are so easy to use that new operators can make nearly perfect metal cuts on their first try. The wide range of thicknesses and types of metal that plasma can cut through make it a perfect solution for companies that cut various types and thicknesses of metal.
Unfortunately, there are a few disadvantages to working with plasma. First, they can be incredibly noisy when cutting through thick pieces of metal. Also, the thickest metal they can cut through is about 50mm. Plasma cutters also produce a lot of fumes and the arc is very bright.
Next time you need steel fabrication in Phoenix, AZ, give us a call at 602-244-2262. Let us worry about what kind of cutter to use for your metal cutting needs. Along with a full array of services, we are able to cut metal that is up to 5 inches thick.