Gas cutting is a widespread thermal method in metalworking. However, plasma cutting is a relatively new and much more modern technology that is slowly taking over the market.
Is plasma the solution to all entrepreneurs’ problems?
Plasma is faster and more precise than gas cutting and therefore, time-saving. Gas cutting can take seven times longer than plasma cutting. In addition to that, plasma cutting does not require preheating.
Gas cutting leaves a significant amount of slag on the edges. The operator has to spend a considerable amount of time to remove it. Plasma cutters are much more precise and create a thinner gap in the workpiece, thus saving material.
The plasma plotter is very versatile as it is suitable for cutting carbon steel, stainless steel and non-ferrous metals. This machine cuts thin materials very quickly. Moreover, it also does not cause deformation of thin sheets due to smaller heat impact zone. As a result, the thicker the sheet, the more the plotter speed is related to the speed of gas cutting, which undoubtedly wins with very thick materials. Oxy-fuel technology allows cutting materials as thick as 150 mm.
As demonstrated by Hypertherm (source), plasma cutting is much faster than gas cutting.
Acetylene (ethylene) in its pure form is a colourless and odourless gas. Its technical form has a strong, unpleasant odour similar to garlic. Although it is not particularly poisonous, an excess of it in the air causes many dangerous ailments. This gas is highly explosive and burns to form a bright flame at a very high temperature.
Therefore, it seems obvious that such a dangerous substance requires particular caution from the person who works with it. This is why an employee operating a gas cutting machine must have a special license.
Restrictions also apply to the storage of gas cylinders on the site.
Gas cutting loses out to plasma in almost every field. Plasma cutting machines are faster, cleaner, safer and, above all, more economical. Nevertheless, it is gas cutting that represents the future. This very technology is unbeatable for machining very thick materials.