High Definition Plasma
High Definition Plasma
Steel is exceedingly tough and difficult to cut. Fortunately, there are machines equipped with new technology that have been particularly designed to shape and cut steel in various thicknesses and grades. High definition plasma machines provide incredible cutting efficiency and accuracy for aluminum, stainless steel and mild steel with thickness of between 3mm to 25mm.
Plasma is one of the states of matter after solid, liquid and gas. It is an ionized gas consisting of free electrons and positive ions with proportions that result to almost no electric charge usually at low pressures (as in fluorescent lamps) or at extremely high temperatures (as in reactors of nuclear fusion).
Plasma is fast becoming the preferred technology for precision cutting because it cuts faster than oxy-fuel and can be used for aluminum, stainless steel and mild steel. With the introduction of high definition plasma systems, the plasma arc is given more energy and stability for higher quality cutting capabilities.
Steel Cutting Technologies
High definition plasma is one of the many options for steel cutting which also includes laser and oxy fuel. Each steel cutting technology has been developed to suit different steel cutting applications.
Plasma cutting is ideal for cutting non-ferrous metals and steel including aluminum, stainless steel and mild steel. It cuts thinner material faster (less than 25mm in thickness). It is also extremely competent on non-linear cuts.
Oxy fuel cutting on the other hand is ideal for steel with heavy sections of up to 300 mm thick. It produces immense heat with less power. Cutting thinner sheet metals with this technology can cause them to warp making plasma for ideal for these materials.
Oxy fuel cutting cuts metal through burning making this technology ideal only for metals that can go through the oxidation process. Stainless steel and aluminum do not go through the oxidation process making high definition plasma the best option in cutting these materials.
Laser cutting makes use of laser beams to cut metals. It consumes more power to operate than high definition plasma and oxy fuel. It can be difficult to use as précised accuracy is required when positioning lasers. Laser can be difficult to use when cutting reflexive metals.
The Basics of Plasma Cutting
The plasma cutting system involves blowing gas which could either be air, oxygen, inert or others out of a nozzle at high speed. While blowing gas an electrical arc is produced creating plasma. The produced plasma is hot enough to cut through metal. It also blows the molten metal quickly off the cut.
High definition plasma also referred to as high density plasma, CNC plasma and HD plasma, is the latest technology in plasma cutting. High definition plasma works in forcing the plasma arc via a smaller nozzle. This produces cuts which are cleaner and with squarer edges as well as achieving parts life which are acceptable in the torch
Modern high definition plasma machines are able to achieve between 130 to 800 amperes to allow them to cut carbon steel with thickness of up to 76 mm. High definition plasma however is more efficient in cutting these materials 3mm-25mm thick.
High definition plasma technology enables high automation levels contributing more to the speed, quality and easy use making this cutting technology the best option of metal fabricators.
Benefits of High Definition Plasma
High definition or CNC plasma cutting is one of the most popular options in cutting metal for the construction and manufacturing industries. This technology comes with many benefits to ensure more efficiency and better cuts.
- High definition plasma provides a fast and easy cutting process. It cuts faster than the oxy fuel process. It can cut a wide variety of materials ensuring smooth surfaces. It allows minimal clean up after the cutting process. It is also cost efficient.
- High definition plasma is not only efficient, it is accurate too. It delivers exceptionally accurate cuts of high quality.
- High definition plasma can cut aluminum, stainless steel, mild steel, copper and other metals with various thicknesses.
High definition plasma cutting was developed in the 1990s. During those days high definition plasma had limited thickness capacity and amperage. It also needed required the continuous monitoring and adjustment of a qualified machine operator to ensure the cutting quality.
Despite its complexity, high definition plasma then was already ranked as one of the best innovations in plasma cutting.
High definition plasma systems today have seen remarkable improvements. Thickness capabilities and amperages have increased as well as cutting quality.
How High Definition Plasma Cutting Works
The technique used in high definition plasma cutting is identical to that of traditional plasma except that it utilizes an overly compressed and focused electrical arc. This allows the amps to triple per surface unit resulting in an exceedingly high speed of plasma gas. It also provides enhanced cutting quality, greater precision and the production of lesser burr.
The rotating head of a high definition plasma cutter lets the electrical arc produced between the material being cut and the electrode to be in an inclined position so cuts can be made at different angles.
High definition plasma technology was developed to improve the squareness of the edges of cut metal which a conventional plasma cut could not provide. Today, metals cut through high definition plasma no longer needs to go through edge dressing to produce high quality products that are ready to use immediately after processing.
High definition plasma technology was also developed to enhance cut-part accuracy while ensuring a good consumable part and lower operating costs.
High definition plasma will remain as the most popular cutting process for metals. High definition plasma systems of today are easier to learn and operate.
The benefits of the high definition plasma technology can come with a price. In choosing the right high definition plasma unit, you need to take into consideration the thickness of materials to be cut, your desired quality of the edge and the type of additional processing you may require. A high definition or CNC plasma cutting system can be customized to fit the requirements of your operations.
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