Plasma Cutter

What is a Plasma Cutter?

In order to understand what this instrument does, first it’s important to know what plasma is. Matter has three forms: liquid, gas and solid.

How, exactly, does a plasma cutter work? Well, this tool sends an electric arc through a gas that is passing through a constricted opening. With this extreme heat, plasma cutters elevate the temperature of the gas and convert it to the fourth state of matter, called plasma.

As a result, this instrument can pass through metals like steel, aluminum, brass and copper with little or no resistance. This sharp welding process allows for cleaner, sliced lines and sturdier constructions.


Plasma cutting can make for smoother and safer cuts.
It can also result in cuts which are a lot cleaner. One of the big problems of cutting into metal is that it can lead to a lot of junk of dross being left over. arc cutters are best can help avoid this problem by keeping the nozzle from touching the metal, thus making it easier to produce smooth, clean, dross-limiting cuts.

What’s more, because of the tremendous heat involved, the best arc cutting allows for units which can cut through metal like butter.

Then there is the matter of precision. If you are performing cuts which require great deal of accuracy and precision, arc cutting can be tremendously helpful, especially when compared to sawblades and other approaches.

how plasma cutter work

How does a Plasma Cutter work?

Plasma cutters are becoming an increasingly common tool in many industries such as metal fabrication, construction and automotive repair. This tool is able to cut through several types of metal including steel, copper, brass and aluminium by generating an extremely high-temperature, electrical channel of ionised gas otherwise known as plasma.

To create the 4th matter – the plasma – the cutter sends an electric arc through a gas, (either oxygen, nitrogen or argon) which rapidly increases the heat levels to the point where it goes beyond a solid, liquid or gas and becomes plasma.

The machine will then use the plasma to transfer the energy to any conductive metal, allowing it to cut through with very little or no resistance. This method results in a clean, fast cutting process.

What is used to operate it?

Gas is needed for a plasma cutter in order for it to work and create the plasma.

As mentioned, the most popular gases to use are oxygen, nitrogen or argon. Some plasma cutter systems include multi-gas features so a variety of gases can be used for different applications.

Different gases are used depending on the type of metal you are cutting.
Oxygen has become the standard gas to use when cutting steel as it offers the fastest cutting speed of any plasma gas.

Nitrogen is the best choice when it comes to cutting aluminium and stainless steel and it can provide an excellent cut quality.
Argon is ideal for cutting thick stainless steel and aluminium as it’s the hottest burning plasma.
For a more economical choice, clean dry shop air is recommended and will cut through mild and stainless steel as well as aluminium.

What is used to operate it
what metals plasma cuts

What metals will a Plasma Cutter cut?

A plasma cutter can only be used for metals and alloys that are conductive. These include:
• Mild steel
• Stainless steel
• Aluminium
• Copper
• Brass
• Cast iron
• Titanium
• Monel
• Inconel

The melting point of some of these metals will make them difficult to work with as the cutting capacity of the machine will decrease as the electrical conductivity of the metal increases, resulting in an uneven or ‘messy’ edge.

Advantages of a Plasma Cutter

• Able to cut all conductive materials. Flame cutting, though also suitable for cutting thick metals, is limited to ferrous metals only.
• Great quality for thickness up to 50 mm.
• Maximum thickness up to 150 mm.
• Comparatively cheap for medium thickness cuts.
• Best way to cut medium thickness stainless steel and aluminium.
• CNC machines are available to provide high precision and repeatability.
• Can cut in water. Also reduces noise levels.
• Smaller cutting kerf compared to flame cutting.
• Quicker cutting speed than oxyfuel.

LGK Plasma Source:

1) This cutting machine adopts (The Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor) IGBT inverter technology which has high reliability and efficiency. It is light weight.
2) Pre-set current function. Stepless adjustable cutting current, suitable for cutting various thickness workpiece. To ensure cutting quality and save energy, low current is applied to cut thin plate, and high current is applied to cut thick plate.
3) External and dynamic characteristics cutter are significantly better than leakage-reactance typed cutter. High success rate in striking arc. Stable cutting current. Good arc stiffness. Clean and smooth incision. Excellent technology performance.
4) It has the function of ascending current slowly, which can effectively extend the work life of wearing parts and cutting torch.
5) Quite suitable for CNC automatic cutting and has all signal output which is required by CNC control.
6) The cutting current is very stable and it will not be influenced by grid voltage fluctuation.
7) 100% duty cycle. It can work continuously under max current.
8) Have over/ under voltage and phase missing.

plasma cutter

LGK Plasma Source

Advantages of an LGK Plasma Source:
• The circuit schematic diagram of the product learns the German plasma circuit wiring technology, so that the stability of the product is unprecedentedly guaranteed.
• The overall arcing/electrophoresis signal of the machine has little interference to other electronic devices, and users can use with confidence.
• Live monitoring of cutting torch consumable parts to prevent the torch from burning due to electrode burnout.
• Display, detection, alarm, control of gas pressure and coolant flow.
• Independent setting of advance air supply, delayed air-off time and current ramp-up time.
• Automatic protection for overheating and undervoltage.
• Use smart fans to reduce dust accumulation in the machine.
• Plasma water stop valve device to prevent the replacement of the electrode to spray water.

Advantages of a Hypertherm 125A Plasma Generator:
• Finish jobs faster with cut speeds five times greater than oxyfuel on 12 mm (1/2”) mild steel.
• Superior cut and gouge quality let you spend less time on grinding and edge preparation.
• 100% duty cycle maximizes your cutting time.
• Multiple, easy-to-use torch styles let you tackle a wide variety of jobs using the same system.
• Drag cut at full output with a patented shield that reduces dross buildup for smoother cutting.
• Electrode end-of-life detection protects the torch and workpiece from damage by automatically stopping power when the electrode is overused.
• Consumable life up to four times longer than other systems in this amperage range.
• Designed for high-impact and heat resistance.

Hypertherm 125A Plasam Generator