One common description of plasma is to describe it as the fourth state of matter. We normally think of the three states of matter as solid, liquid and gas. The difference between these states relates to their energy levels.

For example, water will change from a solid (ice) to its liquid state when a certain amount of heat is applied.  If the heat levels are increased, it will change again from a liquid to a gas (steam).  Now, if the heat levels increase again, the gases that make up the steam will become ionized and electrically conductive, becoming plasma.

The plasma cutting process, as used in the cutting of electrically conductive metals, utilizes this electrically conductive gas to transfer energy from an electrical power source through a plasma cutting torch to the material being cut. This results in a cleaner, faster cutting process that is capable of cutting more complex shapes with a higher accuracy and edge squareness than with flame cutting.

The basic plasma arc cutting system consists of a power supply, an arc starting circuit and a torch. These system components provide the electrical energy, ionization capability and process control that is necessary to produce high quality, highly productive cuts on a variety of different materials.

Plasma Cutting Benefits

  • Able to cut more complex shapes than flame cutting
  • Smooth, square-edge cutting due to HD plasma arc
  • Ability to cut thinner material very quick and cost effectively
  • Better dimensional tolerance than flame cutting