Some people say that plasma is not right choice for cutting aluminum. Today’s advanced technology makes plasma cutting aluminum quick, affordable and easy. Plasma cutting aluminum works very well, as long as it is done correctly. Using the best equipment and understanding the process and requirements for cutting aluminum will lead to excellent results.
Proper gas selection is essential when plasma cutting aluminum. Cutting aluminum with air creates a rough edge coated with aluminum oxide. Using different gases, such as an argon/helium mix, will produce better results with aluminum. Today, plasma cutting systems can cut at very high speeds per amp, which minimizes the amount of heat input into the cut edge. This makes plasma cutting aluminum more effective, with better results, than ever before.
Plasma cutting aluminum can offer significant advantages over laser cutting aluminum, depending on the thickness and volumes needed. Plasma cutting is much more cost-effective, with lower equipment and operating costs, if the plate is a ¼” or greater. While lasers can cut to about a ¾” maximum, plasma cutting systems can cut up to 2” without difficulty.
One consideration when cutting aluminum is excess hydrogen buildup. If using a water table, the water level must be 2” lower than the bottom of the material to be cut, otherwise gas will accumulate. If you cut a lot of aluminum, we can install a bubbler in the bottom of the water table to agitate the water and release the gas. The other option is to use a down draft cutting bed.
When selecting the process for cutting aluminum, manufacturers need to prioritize their needs. For some operations, productivity may be the number one concern, while others may regard edge quality as the most important issue. Victory CNC Plasma Systems offers a wide array of plasma cutters which perform exceptionally well on aluminum. We’ll work with you to select the best system to meet your needs for plasma cutting aluminum.
Ready to discuss your plasma cutting needs? Contact us today!