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Plasma Cutters-Working and uses

June 17, 2010  by: Sridevi  Points: 30   Category: General Science  Earning $1.50   Views: 1225

A plasma cutter is a portable tool that is used to cut steel and other electrically-conductive metals of varying thickness. It employs the power of the 'plasma' to make sharp cuts through thick metal sheets.



Plasma can be described as the fourth state of matter, beyond the gaseous state, which is felt by heating the gas even more. The gas molecules start to break apart as a result of which the atoms begin to split. The atoms, as we know, comprise of protons and neutrons in the nucleus which is surrounded by electrons. In the plasma state, these electrons move away from the nucleus, thereby making the nucleus, which is now termed as the ion, positively charged. When the fast moving electrons collide with other ions and electrons, they release vast amounts of energy in the form of plasma which can cut through any metal with ease.


In a plasma cutter, an inert gas like nitrogen, argon or even air that is first blown at high speed out of a nozzle so that it gets compressed. Simultaneously, a high-voltage electric arc which is generated by an electrode, is passed through. As a result of the high amounts of heat generated by the arc , the gas gets converted to plasma which is sufficient to melt the metal that is being cut. The plasma moves fast, thus blowing away the molten metal from the surface of the cut. The intense light generated by the cutter is sometimes termed as 'plasma torch'.

CNC plasma cutter: These Computer Numerical Controlled plasma cutters are automatic ones which takes user input through a keyboard to control the cutting machine. A lot of them are equipped with robotic arms, thus lessening the manual work. They are increasingly being used to create highly artistic curves and cuts, without the tip having to touch the metal surface.

A Hand-held plasma cutter at work


There are quite a few benefits of employing plasma cutters to cut and shape metals.

. The cut is sharp, precise and even.

. The time taken for the cutting process is very less- up to 5 times lesser- thus facilitating faster completion of the work.

. The surface of the metal outside the cutting area remains relatively cool as the heat-affected zone, or the HAZ, is restricted to a small area.

. It does not need oxygen or flammable gases, as with other metal cutters like acetylene torches.


Plasma cutters come in different sizes and are chosen as per the amounts of electricity produced by the electrode present. The plasma cutters are used extensively in the construction, welding and art industry.

In Construction: Plasma cutters are used by plumbers and automobile manufactures to correctly and quickly shape the metallic parts, cutting away all the unwanted pieces. They have been very useful in the production of planes, robots, and suspensions bridges.

In Welding: Plasma cutters are widely used in the welding industry to join the broken metal pieces.

In Art: Artists use small, portable plasma cutter to make complicated designs in metals.

ESAB is the world's leading manufacturer of plasma cutting equipment. Millers, Torchmate and Hypertherm are other popular brands.

Author: Abhisek Acharya        
Posted Date: 06/18/2010    Points:2    

good. work!!

read mine also

Author: Sridevi        
Posted Date: 06/18/2010    Points:2    

HI Abhishek...It was nice

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