The Common Mistakes When you Use Plasma Cutting



Making mistakes in plasma cutting becomes costly in the long run. If you maintain your plasma cutter and use it skillfully, you will realize many benefits coming your way. It is therefore good to follow the guidelines that we have stated below to assist you not to make future mistakes.

During this exercise, blunders can be made and this can cause damage on some parts. This may result in cuts of poor quality. Therefore, it is good to know some of these mistakes and work out solutions. This will ensure you get the best from plasma cutting. Below are some mistakes that plasma cutters make:


Extreme Use of Consumables


If you overuse consumables especially those that are badly worn out, the material could sustain damages. Moreover, expect damages on the torch and many downtimes as well. If you want to establish whether consumable parts are worn out, the parts begin to color, the light of the torch deteriorates and the arc lets out a queer sound.


In order to avoid this problem from recurring, do a thorough inspection of the plasma cutter. Establish the lifespan of the crucial parts so that you can replace them at the right time.


Regular Changing of Consumable Parts


It is advisable to have the consumable parts changed if they are worn out. Do not change them after using them for just some hours. Do not incur extra costs for changing consumable parts regularly especially if they function quite well. You only need to change these parts when:

  • If you notice dirty particles or grease filled in the holes, burning of the arc, or acute wear and tear.
  • If physical damage on the shields is noted, you need to replace them.
  • The normal measurements of the pit are 3/32” for all and 1/8” for N2. If the dimensions do not add up, you need to have it changed.
  • If the nozzle is scratched from inside or around, you need to replace it immediately.


Using Incorrect Consumable Parts


Some factors determine the consumable parts to choose, these are: the amount of plasma gas that is needed, the thickness of the board you are cutting, and the power supply. Always read guidelines that are in the manual. This will guide you to get the best consumable parts.

Quality will just be poor if you use incorrect parts. It will also reduce the lifespan of the parts. Insist on the best amperage. If it is low, expect poor cuts. If the amperage is too high, expect damage to the nozzle. Therefore, get just an amperage which is average.


Piercing Too Low


What determines on whether you are going to give a quality cut or not is the closeness of your cut on the material and the torch. It may also reduce the lifespan of the parts. The height of the torch helps much when piercing. If you pierce too low, the material would splatter. If you want to prevent this, we recommend an automatic torch control.


Fast or Slow Cutting


Whether you are doing slow or fast cuts will in the end affect the quality of cuts you make. It will also affect the consumable parts hence frequent replacements.


Poor Maintenance


This will affect its performance. If you maintain the cutter, its lifespan will be lengthened. It will last for more months than you expect and it won’t call for replacement.


Do a regular check on the thread of the torch and clean it regularly. Dust, dirt, and oil should also be wiped from the thread. Lubricate the O-ring regularly as well. Wiping the thread will require that you use cotton wool and hydrogen peroxide.


The Gas and Coolant Flow


Do not allow too much gas coming out. This may cause damage to the torch and the consumable parts. Do regular checking of these parts in order to avoid more damage.

As the gas flows continuously, the parts will keep the heat hence reducing lifespan. The level of the coolant should be constant as it flows to prevent consumable parts. The gas pressure should be maintained. This will give you the best cuts that you need.


Installing the Torch Inappropriately


If the torch is not properly installed, the gas flow will be affected. Electrical contact will also be affected. Therefore, ensure that the torch is appropriately installed with all parts aligned and fitted.


When cleaning, take care of consumable parts. They should not be dusty or dirty. These may contaminate the torch thread. The O-ring should also be lubricated. Excess lube will clog hence making the torch dirty with metal dust.


Elongating the Arc


If you anticipate the best cut ever, do not let the arc touch the area you are cutting. This normally occurs at the beginning or the end of the cut. If you let the arc stretch to the place you are cutting, the nozzle will also be cut at its sides.


Your nozzle should be placed over the cutting surface if you want to avoid this kind of a mistake. Alternatively, programming can be done such that the arc does not stretch beyond the required area.

Final word


Taking into account all that has been discussed above will make you learn how to use the plasma cutter properly and in the long run, you will minimize mistakes. If you still find it difficult to use it, refer to the manual that comes along with it. This manual will keep you going because it provides information regarding what you need to do at a given time. For instance, maintenance is well stipulated in the manual. Other issues that you will find in the manual are: how the parts of the plasma cutter works and how each part works in coordination with other parts. We hope that the above explanations that we have given will go a long way in helping you make the best cuts. Good luck with your work!

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