Until the 1960s, industrial and commercial metal cutters were forced to rely on one of two primary means of separating metal. The first was straightforward metal on metal cutting, while the second, oxy-fuel cutting, used gases to create a white-hot flame. Both of these processes shot off sparks and metal shavings, creating not only a mess but a safety hazard to the men and women who operated the machinery.
Then came plasma cutting, a process that seemed revolutionary compared to its predecessors. Plasma cutters start by compressing the air around them (usually with the help of an air compressor). Then, they shoot a zip of electrical arc through the compressed gas, ionizing it and creating a flame that’s hot enough to burn through metal. Unlike traditional metal cutting, plasma cutting in Phoenix, AZ leaves behind very few sparks and shavings and can be used on any metal.
The drawbacks of electrical arcs
Though plasma cutting is a fantastic means of slicing through any (and every) piece of metal you can throw at it, it’s not great on every material. This is because a plasma cutter relies on its electrical arc to keep its flame burning. If the plasma cutter is attempting to cut through a material that doesn’t conduct electricity, then the tool is virtually useless.
Materials like wood and glass (i.e., materials that don’t conduct electricity) cannot be cut by a plasma cutter. In some rare instances, professionals can lay a thin strip of metal on a piece of glass to generate a flame that’s hot enough to cut through both the metal and the glass underneath, but again, that still requires a metal conductor.
When should I get help from a plasma cutter?
The uses for plasma cutting are myriad. New, portable tools for plasma cutting in Phoenix, AZ can help with cutting pipe on-site. Car enthusiasts can also use a plasma cutter to make quick work of dented fenders and bumpers. Sheet metal fabricators can use a plasma cutter to work in a volatile environment without sending off sparks.
For industrial and commercial clients who are hoping to use the same plasma cutting technique on several different pieces of metal, a specialty shop can use a method known as computer numerical control (CNC), which allows machinists to program a specific cut into a computer before having the computer carry out the instructions on bulk items.
The plasma cutting superstars
Need the aid of a professional with years of experience with plasma cutting in Phoenix, AZ? Count on Metal Pro Inc., where our entire team of highly-skilled professionals is ready and waiting to meet your needs. In addition to custom plasma cutting and CNC plasma cutting, we also offer flame cutting, welding, metal fabrication, metal stamping, metal forming and a considerable number of other services.
If you need metal bent, shaped or broken down, we can make it happen. Experience the difference of working with Arizona’s best metal fabrication shop. Come to Metal Pro Inc. You won’t regret it!