Details on Plasma Cutting

Details on Plasma Cutting

 


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Plasma cutting is an emerging field due to enhanced robotic technologyPlasma cutting evolved from plasma welding in the 1980s and was once considered to be too expensive.  Today it has become a cost-effective and efficient way to produce products.  Plasma cutters can range from hand held devices to large cutters as an EOAT for a robotic arm, creating accurate cuts.Picture of a Fanuc ArcMate 100iC plasma cutting robot
Plasma Cutting Principle
The Plasma cutting principle is based off of the four states of matter.  Most are familiar with the first three stats, solid, liquid, and gas.  However plasma has been discovered as the fourth state.
The plasma cutting principle is based on plasma as a gas that is heated to extreme temperatures until it reaches the fourth state of matter.   In this state the electrons in the atoms of the plasma separate from their nuclei.  This frees the electrons to be able to move around and with great speed, crashing into other free electrons.  These collisions cause a release of energy, which is used as the power supply for plasma cutters.
Plasma Cutting Details
What do the states of matter have to do with robotic cutting?  Without plasma there would not be enough power for the cutters to make their incisions.  As the gas is heated to the plasma state, an electronic arc is sent through a constricted opening called the nozzle.   Inside the nozzle is an electrode, which was separated from an atom when the gas was heated.  A pilot arc is used as a power source for the electrode, connecting it to the nozzle.  The next step in the plasma cutting principle is to bring the nozzle in contact with the metal to be cut.  A spark is generated with contact and creates an electrical current, giving the plasma cutter the power needed to cut through the metal.
The details of plasma cutters can be a bit confusing, but luckily you do not need to understand every last detail to reap its benefits.  Along with saving money and time, plasma cutters make clean/accurate cuts with no metal chips.  With those advantages who would not want to try one out!
For more information on plasma cutters or a formal quote, please contact RobotWorx at 740-251-4312.

References:
http://home.howstuffworks.com/plasma-cutter4.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_cutting
http://www.nordtech.ubm.ro/issues/2005/2005.01.040.pdf
http://torchmate.com/resource_center/editorials/how_a_plasma_cutter_works/

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