When considering investing in a plasma cutter, quite a few questions will arise about how it operates, how much it costs, does it require a course for operation, is it dangerous, and what can it be used to cut.
Can a Plasma Cutter Cut Aluminum?
Plasma cutters, like other power tools and equipment, have all benefitted from the most recent advances in technology. Nowadays plasma cutters can cut through any type of metal that is conductive. A conductive metal is a metal that can transmit heat or electricity.
Can I Cut Aluminum with a Plasma Cutter?
Absolutely, yes! Aluminum not only is a conductive metal, but it’s also one of the top conductive metals in existence. Offering excellent conductivity, together with its high resistance to corrosion and low density, it is ideal for numerous industrial purposes including communications, automotive applications, and aeronautics.
A plasma cutter will be a particularly good choice as a cutting tool if the aluminum that you want to cut measures less than six inches in thickness. While plasma cutters can cut through any metal that is conductive, the thickness of the metal can increase cutting difficulty.
How Does a Plasma Cutter Cut Aluminum?
Your plasma cutter will use a flow of ionized gasses that are highly concentrated. Because ionized gas contains more positive ions or protons than gas naturally does, it becomes extremely hot and evolves into the state known as plasma.
When plasma protons come into contact with aluminum or other conductive metals, the plasma will penetrate and cut through the metal. Because a conductive metal will possess its own characteristic positive charge, it will attract the plasma electrons that then move to the metal permitting a clean cut by basically melting the metal they touch.
Basically, gas is pushed through a nozzle. As it flows out, it joins with an electrically generated arc creating a temperature that is intense enough to immediately cut/melt the aluminum.
When Should I Use a Plasma Cutter for Cutting Aluminum?
The Plasma Cutter is ideal for cutting aluminum especially if you require a precision clean cut. The cutter will cut very rapidly, and it offers more precision because the width of the tool’s cut is so small. This means that the aluminum edges and immediate area will not be damaged by the plasma’s intense heat.
What Gases Are Used in the Plasma Cutting of Aluminum
Plasma Cutting uses two gases: Nitrogen and oxygen. Ideally, they need to be 100% pure. Oxygen can be 99.5% pure and Nitrogen 99.995% pure at the minimum. Anything less can have negative consequences for the cut.
What Advantages Does a Plasma Cutter Offer for Cutting Aluminum?
A major benefit is the capability to cut through thicker aluminum metal at a faster rate. Thanks to the improvement in the use of gases, plasma cutters’ arc sizes have been significantly increased. This means that plasma cutter usage offers precision uniform cuts faster and reduces cutting costs making it a very cost-effective tool.
Using a Plasma Cutter to cut aluminum will offer you a precision cut while saving you time, and money.