When it comes to sheet metal fabrication, the recent advances in plasma cutting technology are changing the impact that plasma can have on your bottom line. High-definition plasma cutting offers high-quality cuts at faster speeds that can help reduce costs associated with overtime and defects. Here are five notable benefits when it comes to plasma cutting and why it's worth considering for your next fabrication project.
Increased Cutting Speeds
Plasma cutting, when used on metal up to 2” thick, is capable of speeds twice as fast as oxyfuel cutting. The thinner the metal, the better the speed benefits. Thinner metals allow for cutting speeds that are up to 12+ times faster than oxyfuel. Cutting more parts in less time translates directly to improved operations and increased productivity.
If cuts are made using oxyfuel, consolidated dross (oxide slag) is created by the chemical reactions between the steel and oxygen. This material adheres to cuts and always requires chiseling or grinding to be removed. In contrast, high-definition plasma cutting employs electrically charged high-temp gas, which melts metal and blows the molten metal away from the cut. Since minimal dross is created and the process itself removes excess metal, chiseling or grinding is typically not necessary.
Raised Inside Piercing Speed
Many cutting applications require inside piercing. When you use oxyfuel to pierce a ½” thick piece of steel, the process may take more than half a minute because metal demands preheating to about 1830 degrees Fahrenheit (1000ºC). Alternately, high-definition plasma pierces the same ½” metal piece in two seconds, which significantly increases productivity rates.
Eliminated Plate Warping
High-definition plasma technology's fast cutting speeds dramatically reduce the amount of heat that is transferred to the material. Using high-definition plasma cutting avoids plate warping of thin (18 gauge to ¼”) materials – a problem commonly affecting materials that are cut more slowly by oxyfuel.
Plasma cutting technology utilizes an electric arc process capable of cutting any electrically conductive material. Stainless steel, copper, aluminum, and all non-ferrous materials are included in this list. Because of this, plasma can cut a stack of multiple plates with ease. You can't do this with processes such as oxyfuel cutting.
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Whether it's our in-house plasma cutting or other first-step processing services, we offer cost-effective, customizable solutions for all your metal processing needs. If you need parts created and delivered or just need help with overflow, at Boyd Metals we have you covered. Contact us today to see how we can help.