What is plasma cutting? The plasma cutting process.
Plasma cutting is a process for cutting metal. Any electrically conductive metal, mild steel, stainless steel, and aluminum can be cut using a plasma cutter. The plasma cutting process uses a stream of compressed air which is passed through an electrical arc in the torch nozzle. The airstream is heated by the electrical arc which causes ionization. At this point the ionized stream becomes plasma. Plasma is electrically conductive and transfers the arc to the work piece. On its way to the work piece the plasma stream is forced through an orifice constricting the stream of heated plasma which further increases its temperature and velocity. The temperature of the plasma at this point is in excess of 30,000 Fahrenheit and the velocity is over 1000 ft./s. The high temperature plasma stream melts the metal. The high velocity stream pushes the molten metal out of the cut.