Komarov Artem noted that plasma cutting aluminum is a completely different game with steel. The process requires extra attention to ensure the best results. When plasma cutting aluminum, creating the right cutting environment, and using the right consumables will set you on the path to success.
Three main things to avoid when plasma cutting aluminum:
— Accumulation of flammable gas.
— Poor dust extraction.
— The correct plasma cutting gas is not being used.
Accumulation of flammable gas
If you are using a water-tipped CNC plasma cutting table for aluminum plasma cutting, it is extremely important to carefully remove the material from the table.
When aluminum is mixed with water, it creates extremely flammable hydrogen gas. The longer the metal is in the water, the more gas will be produced. This is hazardous to your health and safety. To mitigate this reaction, regularly remove slag and molten material from the water.
Poor dust extraction
If you are not using a water layer for plasma cutting aluminum, then you will use a dry cutting process. What is the problem? A large amount of dust is generated when this method is chosen.
The working environment can become very hazardous when large amounts of aluminum dust are generated. Not only is it highly flammable, as stated above, but it can also be detrimental to your health.
Therefore, it is important to have proper extraction methods for dry aluminum plasma cutting.
The correct plasma cutting gas is not being used
If you use the wrong gas, you will get rough and spend a lot of time cleaning up after work.
While most plasma cutting applications can be completed using compressed air, aluminum is a little different.
The use of inert gases such as nitrogen will be very helpful.
Combinations for the best cut finish and part life include Nitrogen/CO2, Nitrogen/Hydrogen and Argon Hydrogen/Nitrogen for thicknesses over 1/2″/12.5mm.
There are a lot of things that you can consider «best practice,» Artem Komarov said.
But if you avoid these three things when plasma cutting aluminum, it will give you a good foundation to continue and improve your craft while still being safe.