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Application of Plasma Cutting Technique

Plasma cutting is one of the most important separation methods in the industry because it can be flexibly used for 2D and 3D cutting tasks and for cutting all electrically conductive materials. There are also interesting solutions for cutting insulating materials.

Bevel cutting

Bevel cutting and the demands on the quality of bevel cuts have become considerably more important in recent years.


Hole cutting

The plasma cutting of small hole diameters places high demands on the plasma cutting system and the process technology.

Precise Holes – no Trick but Know-How

It is generally known that plasma can be used not only for cutting long-run contours but also for cutting holes into all electrically conductive materials. But how good is the quality of such cuts? The engineers of Kjellberg Finsterwalde's development department are constantly concerned with this topic which is again and again raised by customers and guests. Often, they are positively surprised by the high quality that can be achieved. Often, customers bring along their own drawings of parts to be cut which are then cut directly on-site in perfect quality. It is no trick to cut holes of very good quality but know-how which we teach our customers directly in training sessions.


Due to the physical build-up of the plasma arc, there is a lower limit, the minimum diameter. A rule of thumb says that the smallest possible hole has a diameter which is approximately one and a half times the plate thickness, for example with a 10 mm plate thickness the holes can be as small as 15 mm in diameter. However, the high-precisions plasma cutting systems of the HiFocus series allow cutting holes which are significantly smaller. With a 10 mm mild steel plate holes of 8 mm in diameter of very good quality are possible. Angular deviations are very low; the extraction caused by the move-in and move-out is barely visible. The cutting edges on the upper and lower sides of the material remain sharp-edged. This means that the heat-affected zone is very small and the surface of the material is not melted or rounded.


Of course, such cutting results do not only depend on the plasma cutting machine as the tool and the material to be cut but also on the optimum interaction between the guiding system and the height control unit. Guiding systems may react differently. The way a 2D guiding system copes with this task may differ from a robot, for example. Guiding system manufacturers, too, have different approaches and potentials how to solve this task. However, if the user knows about these interrelations the way is free for cutting precise and small inner contours.

 

Below you can see some examples which show holes of different sizes cut into a work-piece with a thickness of  10 mm. The smallest hole diameter amounts to 8 mm. The tolerance between upper and lower side amounts to less than 0.2 mm.

Cutting of gratings

Kjellberg Finsterwalde has submitted a patent application for the HotWire method which allows to cut interrupted structures or insulating materials.

Plasma gouging

Plasma gouging is a method for removing parts of electrically conductive materials.


Plasma gouging is a process which involves melting and removing material by using a plasma arc. It can be used for all electrically conductive materials, i.e. mild steel, stainless steel, aluminium, high-melting materials or composites.

Plasma gouging can be performed with a machine torch as well as a hand torch. The gouging takes place by transferring the plasma arc directly onto the workpiece. The plasma torch removes the molten material in an effective manner.

Plasma gouging is mainly used to remove flaws on welds, but also to prepare back-welding on root welds. Furthermore, this process is excellently suitable for removing surface flaws, i.e. cracks, blowholes or inclusions. Other possible applications are the production of notches, the processing of fusion faces as well as the cleaning of casted parts. What should also be mentioned is the high suitability for peeling on surfaces as well as surfaced workpieces and moulded parts.

Compared to mechanical removal processes, the working speed is usually much higher. The user is released from heavy physical work because no grinders or other machines are necessary. Plasma gouging has also succeeded against gouging with carbon electrodes because no regrinding is necessary, the gouged surface is not carburized when using technical gases and the heat input is lower. The process can be performed easier and more precise due to better visibility and control of the gouged area. Especially in case of inconvenient working positions, plasma gouging is excellently suitable due to its easy handling.


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