If you open the owner’s manual, you’ll find hundreds of pages of safety, power and burner specifications, power requirements, parts lists, and troubleshooting tips. In addition, in the very middle of leadership, perhaps, lies the best resource of all, Artem Komarov said.
Some materials have abnormal metallurgical properties, probably caused by unusual contents of carbon, silicon, manganese, or other alloys. Changes in metal chemistry often cause deviations from recommended cutting speeds or cutting heights for best results.
Here are six tips to keep in mind when choosing plasma cutting supplies in addition to those outlined in your user manual.
Tip №1: Choosing the Right Plasma Cutting Supplies for Your Machine
The first and most important tip is to make sure you choose the right supplies for your system. This sounds like pretty simple, common-sense advice, but you’d be surprised how often people accidentally select and install the wrong supplies. Many consumable parts look the same, so it’s not surprising that this happens. Double check that the part numbers you select match those listed in your system or owner’s manual.
Tip №2: Adjust Amperage to Match Your Plasma Cutting Supplies
Amperage is usually not included in cutting charts because the amperage you select should be based on the amperage of your nozzle. For example, if you are using a 45-amp nozzle, you should set your system to 45 amps.
Tip №3: Know When to Use Shielded and Unshielded Consumables
You should choose shielded consumables if your CNC cutting table has ohmic sensing circuitry and uses electrical contact with the shield and material to sense the precise location of the surface. If your CNC machine does not have an ohmic sensor, you should choose unshielded consumables.
Using worn consumables such as the nozzles shown can cause many problems. Make sure you have adequate gas and coolant flow, good work cable connections, and set amperage levels that your supplies can support.
Tip №4 for Plasma Cutters: Use the Correct Cutting Height
Cutting height is the ideal height that your CNC machine and height adjuster should maintain once the machine starts cutting and moving forward.
Tip №5: Pay attention to the puncture height.
Achieving the proper puncture height is as important as the correct cutting height to ensure long consumable life. If the height is too low, the spray thrown up during piercing can destroy the nozzle after just a few runs. Piercing too high can cause excessive arcing and cause premature damage to the nozzle. The correct piercing height is one and a half to two times the correct distance from the burner to the working surface.
Tip №6 for Plasma Cutters: Watch the Arc Voltage Measurement When Plasma Cutting
The arc voltage measurement is the actual unit of measurement between the electrode inside the torch and the material you are cutting, found in the Best Quality Parameters and Production Parameters column of your cutting charts. The longer the plasma arc, the higher the arc voltage. Keep in mind that the voltage setting listed in the manual will provide the correct cutting height, assuming your supplies are new. If your supplies are a little worn, you may need to adjust this distance manually.
Also make sure the height adjuster is calibrated correctly. This is important because on some smaller machines the calibration may be disabled between 15 and 20 volts.
Be sure to follow the cutting pattern settings specified in the user manual and use the correct consumables. If you do this in combination with the tips above, you are sure to get better cut quality and longer consumable life, which will ultimately allow you to save money on plasma cutting, noted Artem Komarov.