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Plasma Arc Cutting (PAC)

Plasma Arc Cutting is a metal cutting process that uses a high temperature stream of ionised gas through a water-cooled nozzle at very high velocity. An arc is formed between the electrode and the workpiece, which is constricted by a fine bore copper nozzle. Oxygen oxidises the workpiece material, and it is melted by the exothermic reaction. The melted metal is then blown away from the line of cut. Temperatures can reach up to 20,000˚C. Manual (portable) or automated systems are common.
The plasma gases include argon, hydrogen, nitrogen and mixtures, plus air and oxygen.
PAC has a higher cutting speed and produces a smaller HAZ than oxy-fuel cutting

Typical Uses:

Examples of uses

a. Typical functions for plasma-arc cutting.
b. Example of the process during operation.

Design guidelines for Plasma Arc Cutting

Process variations

Tradenames/alternative names

The environment

The economics

Technical notes

  1. Melt-in fusion for reduced distortion (lower currents). This method is for welding.
  2. Key-hole fusion for complete penetration of material thickness (higher currents). This method is for cutting.