Can I Cut Fittings with Oxygen
Plasma cutting is one of the most modern effective technologies that allows working with metal, as well as with some materials that do not conduct current, including wood, plastic and stone.
It is not surprising that the method is in demand and is actively used in various fields of activity, in housing and communal services, in construction, and industry. The main device in the whole process is a plasma cutter, producing an arc formed by a plasma of enormous temperature.
The arc allows you to work with high accuracy, to carry out cutting not only in straight lines, but also to form complex shapes.
To understand the intricacies of the whole process, we consider in more detail the design of the device, as well as the basic principles on which its operation is built.
The plasma cutter is formed by the following elements:
1. Battery, which is responsible for supplying a current of one or another force. Either transformers or inverters are used as an element.
The first option is characterized by a significant mass, but it is almost invulnerable to voltage fluctuations, and also makes it possible to cut metal workpieces of enormous thickness.
An inverter is a good choice if manipulations are carried out with not too thick workpieces. They are economical in terms of energy consumption, characterized by high efficiency and are recommended for use in the private sector.
2. Plasma torch. The main element by which the cut is conducted.
The body of the part hides the electrode, which is responsible for the formation of a powerful arc. An electrode is made of refractory metal, which eliminates its deformation and destruction due to high temperature loads. As a rule, hafnium is used as the most durable and safe material.
At the end there is a nozzle that forms a plasma jet, easily cutting the workpiece.
The performance and power of the device, in many respects, is determined precisely by the diameter of the nozzle. The wider the nozzle, the more air it passes per unit of time, and an increase in air volumes directly increases productivity. The most common diameter is 3 millimeters.
The accuracy of the operation depends on the configuration of the nozzle; to carry out the most delicate work, an elongated element should be selected.
3. Compressor. Its main task is to pump air, without which a plasma cutter for metal simply cannot function. The process is based on the use of gas for the formation of a plasma jet and protection.
If the current strength of the device is limited to 200A, then just compressed air is needed, it is enough to remove excess heat and to form a jet. Such a model is the optimal solution in cases where workpieces are cut no thicker than 5 centimeters.
Can I Cut Fittings with Oxygen
Industrial-type plants do not use ordinary compressed air, but concentrated gas mixtures based on helium, hydrogen, nitrogen.
4. Cable and hose assembly connects all modules to each other. Hoses transport compressed air, cables transmit electric current.
Watch useful, device and how plasma cutting works:
Now we will directly study the principle of operation of the device.
When the operator presses the ignition key, the battery supplies current to the plasma torch. This leads to the formation of a primary arc of enormous temperature, which ranges from 6 to 8 thousand degrees.
The formation of an arc between the tip of the electrode and the nozzle is due to the fact that it is extremely difficult to achieve this result directly between the workpiece and the electrode. Over, if the work is carried out with a material characterized by insulating properties, this is simply impossible.
When the primary arc is formed, an air mixture is supplied to it. This air is in contact with it, its temperature is increasing, and its volume is increasing, and the increase can even be a hundredfold. In addition to this, air loses its dielectric properties and is ionized.
Due to the fact that the nozzle has a narrowing towards its end, the air stream accelerates to 2-3 meters per second and breaks out, having a temperature of almost 30 thousand degrees. Due to the high degree of ionization and the huge temperature, air is called a plasma, the electrical conductivity of which is equal to this parameter for the metal being processed.
At the moment of contact with the treated surface, the primary arc fades, and further work is already being carried out at the expense of the newly formed cutting arc. It is she who melts or burns the material. The cut is smooth, as a powerful air stream blows off all particles from the surface.
Such a description of how the system works is the simplest and most common.
Areas of use
Now consider what they can do:
- Operational cutting of large volumes of materials.
- The manufacture of sheet parts characterized by the complexity of geometry, down to the jewelry and instrumentation industries, where maximum compliance with the original drawings is required.
Stamping is not used in this situation, since this technology, although cheap, does not provide sufficient accuracy. Plasma cutter, despite the enormous temperature of the jet, heats the processed element pointwise, which completely eliminates the possibility of temperature deformation.
- Installation of metal structures. Plazmorez eliminates the need for cylinders with compressed oxygen and acetylene, which increases the degree of safety and convenience, especially when it comes to operations at heights.
- High grade alloy steels. Mechanical methods in this case are not suitable, since the strength of the steels is huge, a tool that can effectively cut sheets based on them will be very expensive and wear out very quickly.
It turns out that the scope of use is diverse. Making holes of any configuration in metal sheets, cutting pipes, corners and workpieces of a different section, processing the edges of forged products in order to “solder” the metal and close its structure. For all this, a plasma cutter is optimal.
A few rules to understand how to cut with a plasma cutter efficiently and safely:
- It is necessary to control the location of the cathode spot, it must correspond to the center of the electrode. This accuracy is achieved by swirling air. Deviations in the supply lead to the displacement of the plasma arc, it loses the stability of combustion. In some cases, a second arc is formed, and in the most difficult situation, the device simply breaks.
- Control over the air flow makes it possible to adjust the plasma flow rate, vary the performance.
- Cutting speed directly affects the thickness. The higher the speed, the finer the cut; its reduction increases the width. Similar results, of greater width, can be achieved by increasing the current strength.
Watch the tutorial on plasma cutting:
So, we figured out what a plasma cutter is.
We can conclude that in a situation where you regularly have to work with metal elements, cut fittings, pipes or other parts, his help will be useful. So the cost of its purchase will be fully offset by the convenience and efficiency of further work.