How plasma cutting works: A closer look

What is Plasma?

In physics, plasma is a charged gas consisting of positive ions and negative electrons. The word “plasma” comes from the Greek word for blood. Plasma is found in the Sun and stars, in fluorescent lamps and plasma TV screens, and in lightning.

Plasma is often called the fourth state of matter, after solid, liquid, and gas. In a solid, the atoms are closely packed together and can only vibrate. In a liquid, the atoms are close together but can move around. In a gas, the atoms are far apart and can move freely. In a plasma, the atoms are so far apart that they can move independently of each other.

Plasma is made up of ionized particles that are electrically charged. This makes plasma very good at conducting electricity. When electrical voltage is applied to plasma, it creates an electrical current.

How does Plasma Cutting Work?

Plasma cutting is a process that uses a plasma jet to cut through materials. The plasma jet is created by heating the material to temperatures more than 30,000°C. This high temperature causes the material to ionize and create an electric arc. The electric arc creates a plasma jet that cuts through the material.

Plasma cutting is a melting process in which the plasma state gas jet is used to melt the material and blow it out of the joint. The electrode is located in water or air-cooled gas nozzle in the torch. 

The plasma gas is directed through the nozzle and is severely constricted with the arc at the tip of the nozzle. The gas is highly heated and ionized. The plasma jet formed in this way has a temperature of up to 30,000°C and has a very high speed. When the plasma jet strikes the object to be cut, recombination takes place. Heat is given off to the workpiece, the material melts and is driven out of the kerf by the gas.

There are various plasma cutting processes, which are differentiated according to the type of constriction effect:

  • Conventional plasma cutting/standard plasma cutting
  • Plasma cutting with a secondary medium
  • Plasma cutting with a secondary gas
  • Plasma cutting with secondary water
  • Plasma cutting with water injection
  • Plasma cutting with increased constriction effect

All processes work according to the same principle but work with different process gases/materials.

Plasma cutting is a process that uses a plasma torch to cut through electrically conductive materials by heating them to a point where the gas escapes from the material in the form of a jet. Plasma cutting is often used for precision cuts in thin materials, such as sheet metal.

Plasma Arc Cutting Features

  1. Plasma cutting is a process that uses a plasma torch to cut through metal.
  2. The plasma torch is created by heating gas to a high temperature and then forcing it through a small hole in the electrode.
  3. This creates a high-pressure jet of hot plasma that can be used to cut through metal.
  4. Plasma cutting is a fast and efficient way to cut metal and it can be used to cut a variety of different metals including steel, aluminum, and brass.
  5. Plasma cutting has several advantages over traditional cutting methods such as sawing and burning: it is faster, more accurate, and produces less waste material.

Plasma Arc Cutting Steps

Plasma cutting is a process that uses a plasma torch to cut through metal. The plasma cutter works by creating an electric arc between two pieces of metal, which then creates a plasma gas. This gas is superheated and can reach temperatures up to 30,000 degrees Celsius. The plasma gas is then directed towards the metal, which causes it to melt and be cut.


The first step in the plasma cutting process is to create the electric arc between the two pieces of metal. This arc is created by passing an electrical current through the air between the two metals. When this current passes through the air, it creates a spark that starts a fire. This fire then produces the plasma gas.

The second step in the process is to direct the plasma gas towards the metal. When the gas hits the metal, it causes it to melt and be cut.

What is plasma in plasma cutting?

Plasma is the fourth state of matter, consisting of ionized gas. It is created when a gas is heated to its ionization temperature, which is much higher than the melting point of the solid or boiling point of the liquid. In a plasma cutter, an electric arc is used to create the heat necessary to create plasma.

Plasma is a good conductor of electricity, making it an effective tool for cutting metal. The high temperature of plasma also makes it a good welding tool.

Plasma is a gas that has been ionized, meaning it has had some of its atoms stripped of their electrons. In plasma cutting, an electric current is passed through the gas, and this creates an arc of plasma. The arc is very hot – about 28,000 °C – and it can cut through metal very easily.

Plasma Cutting Advantages

A plasma torch is a tool that uses gas to create an electric arc. The arc is then used to cut through metal. Plasma cutting is a process that has many advantages over other methods of cutting metal.

  1. Plasma cutting is much faster than traditional methods such as sawing or grinding.
  2. Plasma cutting results in a cleaner cut than other methods.
  3. Plasma cutting is more accurate than other methods.
  4. Plasma cutting can be used to cut a variety of metals, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and brass.
  5. Higher cutting speed than flame cutting on thin and medium sheet thicknesses
  6. Less heat input than with flame cutting with narrower heat-affected zone -HAZ and less distortion of the workpiece
  7. Simple automation is possible to carry out the plasma cutting.
  8. No metal surface conditions hinder the cutting operation, rust and primer-coated metals can be cut.

Plasma Cutting Disadvantages

Plasma cutting is a process that uses a plasma torch to cut through materials like metal. While it is a popular choice for many projects, there are some disadvantages to using plasma cutting.

  1. One disadvantage is that it can be difficult to get a clean cut with plasma cutting. The plasma torch often leaves behind a rough edge on the material that needs to be cleaned up.
  2. Another disadvantage is that plasma cutting can be expensive. The cost of the equipment and the consumables can add up quickly. This can be a disadvantage for small businesses or hobbyists who need to cut metal occasionally.
  3. Plasma cutting can also be dangerous if not used correctly. The high temperatures and sparks generated by the torch can easily cause burns or fires.
  4. Finally, plasma cutting is not always the best option for every project. It can take longer to cut through thicker materials with a plasma cutter than with other methods like sawing or drilling.
  5. Plasma cutters also require more maintenance and have a shorter life span than other types of cutters.
  6. Plasma cutting can produce heat-affected zones near the cut edge. These zones can cause the material to become brittle and less durable.

How does plasma arc cutting work?

Plasma arc cutting is a process that uses a plasma torch to cut through the material. The plasma torch is created by passing an electric current through a gas. When the gas is heated, it forms a plasma.

The plasma is then directed at the material to be cut, and the heat from the plasma melts the material. The molten material is then blown away by the airflow from the plasma torch, leaving a clean cut.

How do CNC plasma cutters work?

In order to understand how a CNC plasma cutter works, you must first understand what a plasma cutter is. A plasma cutter is a device that uses a high-temperature gas to cut through metal.

The gas is heated to such a high temperature that it becomes ionized and turns into plasma. This plasma is then directed towards the metal and cuts through it like a hot knife through butter.

CNC plasma cutters work in basically the same way as standard plasma cutters, but they are controlled by a computer. This allows the computer to create detailed designs that can be cut out of metal very precisely. CNC plasma cutters are often used for cutting intricate designs or logos out of metal sheets.

How do air plasma cutters work?

Air plasma cutters work by using a gas, such as nitrogen or argon, to create a plasma arc. The plasma arc is created when the gas is ionized and then it flows between two electrodes. The high temperature of the plasma arc allows it to cut through materials such as metal very easily.

Air plasma cutters are often used in manufacturing and construction because they are able to quickly and easily cut through metals.

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