Plasma Cutter

Plasma cutting is a process that uses high heat created by an electric arc (plasma) and an air blast to cut through metal, leaving a very clean and easy-to-finish cut (Figure 10.1). As the electric arc travels through air, plasma is created, giving the tool its name. Where the oxygen-acetylene (oxy-acetylene) torch cutting method in Chapter 9 oxidized the material in order to cut it, the plasma cutter’s electric arc lets you cut many types of conductive metal, even nonferrous ones. Another key difference between the plasma cutter and the oxy-acetylene torch is that for most metals, compressed air can be used as the cutting force rather than compressed specialty gases. This means that you can set up a plasma cutter to ...

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