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The history of plasma cutting
Source: | Author:pmt22d4f9 | Publish time: 2018-12-12 | 5 Views | Share:

Traditional plasma cutting in the 1950s
Since the plasma arc process in the mid-1950s, considerable research has focused on increasing arc compression without creating double arcs. The plasma arc cutting applied during that period is now called "traditional plasma cutting." Traditional plasma cutting can be cumbersome if the user is cutting multiple types of metals with different thicknesses. For example, cutting stainless steel and aluminum using a conventional plasma process requires different gas and gas flows to achieve the best cut quality on both metals. Although traditional plasma cutting dominated from the 1950s to the 1990s, this process often required very expensive argon-hydrogen mixtures.
Dual airflow technology in the 1960s
The dual gas flow technique was invented in the 1960s by adding another protective gas around the plasma nozzle. Generally, in the dual airflow operation, the cutting gas or plasma gas is a mixture of nitrogen or argon and hydrogen, and the shielding gas is selected according to the metal to be cut. The typical shielding gas used is air for cutting low carbon steel, and the stainless steel is cut. CO is used, and argon-hydrogen gas is used for cutting aluminum. This technique cuts carbon steel faster than flame cutting. The main advantage of this method is that the nozzle can be hidden in the ceramic hood or protective cover, preventing the nozzle from contacting the workpiece, reducing the tendency of "double arc", shielding gas covering the cutting area, improving cutting quality and cutting speed. It also cools the nozzle and shroud. Air plasma cutting was introduced in the early 1960s for cutting carbon steel. The exothermic reaction of oxygen in the air with the molten steel plate provides additional energy.
Oxygen plasma cutting in the 1970s and 1980s
In the early 1970s, an industrially available bismuth and zirconium was discovered which resists the rapid burning of electrode materials due to high temperatures in oxygen plasma arc cutting. Oxygen is of great interest as a plasma gas. After that, oxygen is possible as a plasma gas, and the application of oxygen plasma to carbon steel cutting has become the latest development of plasma arc cutting technology. Oxygen plasma cutting meets the conditions required for large-scale, slag-free, high cutting speed cutting, greatly increasing cutting speed when operating at lower current levels, and producing smooth, squared, and softer cut edges. Such slit edges are easier to bend or weld. With all new steel plates, including high-hardness and low-alloy steels, this new technology enables basic slag-free cutting.
Modern high-precision plasma cutting and its intelligent development
In the early 1990s, the concept of “fine plasma” entered the market and challenged the laser market for the first time. Laser cutting is an important competitor for plasma cutting in the metal cutting industry because of its ability to produce high quality cuts while maintaining accurate accuracy. Manufacturers of plasma equipment have increased their design efforts to further improve the cutting quality of their equipment. Extremely compressed arcs are created by greatly reducing the size of the nozzle holes, and plasma cutting achieves the high energy density required to compete with laser products. Fine plasma systems have become an advanced plasma product in the metal cutting industry that competes with lasers.
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