How Does a Plasma Cutter Work

When we talk about plasma cutters, we do not talk about a bladed cutter or a chain saw. We talk about atoms, electrons and nuclei. In other words we talk about energy. The most common states of matter are solid, liquid, and gas. Matter is anything that occupies space. Water is matter. It takes the form of solid when it is ice. When ice is heated it becomes liquid, and when liquid is heated, steam evaporates. This is now the gas form of matter. When gas is extremely heated to a very high temperature, the fourth stage of matter becomes known - it is plasma.

Plasma cutters come in all sizes and shapes. There are horrible plasma cutters that use mechanical arms to make accurate incisions. There are also small, handheld units that you might buy from a do-it-yourself shop. But regardless of size or shape, all plasma cutters function on the same standard as those tools constructed with the same purpose.

  1. It works by sending a pressurized gas, such as oxygen, argon, and nitrogen through a small conduit or channel where a negatively charged electrode is found.
  2. When power is applied to the negative electrode, and the tip of the nozzle touches the metal, a circuit is created.
  3. A vigorous and powerful spark is produced between the electrode and the metal.
  4. As the static gas passes through the conduit, the spark heats the gas. This reaction produces a stream of undeviating plasma that condenses metal to molten slag.

Ions are positively charged nuclei. Vast amounts of energy are released when the fast-moving electrons collide with other electrons and ions. This energy gives plasma its distinctive status and incredible cutting power. Metals are difficult to manipulate. Without the plasma cutters, it is difficult to build large and strong projects such as an airplane wing.

The function of a plasma cutter is particularly simple. It gets the job done by employing one of the most established states of matter. The amount of heat translated into energy excites molecules by breaking free from the bonds that bind them together. Plasma cutters are now attached to industry. They are used inevitably in auto shops as well as in car manufacturers to create chassis and frames. They are also used in construction companies and in large-scale projects to fabricate and cut massive beams.

Plasma cutters in the past years were very expensive. They were mainly used for huge metal-cutting jobs. But in recent years, the cost of plasma cutters has dropped significantly making them available for personal use. Their size also dropped to a handheld tool making them more of a requirement than an option. Metal workers use handheld plasma cutters to create distinctive works of art that would not be feasible with the traditional metal-working tools.

Using the basic standards of physics, the plasma cutter executes magical results jobs. As our understanding of plasma increases, more tools and applications will be utilized in this captivating force of nature.


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