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How Do Plasma Cutters Actually Work?

The unique properties of plasma that is present in the plasma cutter is the one responsible for making such object pass through ferrous materials such as metals and steels.

Prior to us continuing the discussion about plasma cutter and how it works, let us first define what plasma really is. Plasma, defined by wikipedia, is one of the four fundamental states of matter (other being the solid, liquid and gas) and is also known as an ionized gas which consists of positive ions and free electrons in proportions that results in more or less no overall electric charge, typically at low pressures (can be observed in the upper atmosphere and with fluorescent lamps) or at very high temperatures (like the stars and nuclear fusion reactors). When we were young, we learned about the states of matter and we are taught that there are juts three of them namely: solid, liquid and gas but the truth is that there are actually four states of matter and the fourth one on the list of plasma. Once again, if we are to define plasma, it is an ionized gas that is responsible for supplying sufficient amount of energy to free electrons that comes from atoms or molecules and, plasma is also the one who allows both ions and electrons to coexist. If you are curious as to how plasma are made, you can try boosting a gas to an extremely high temperature and you will get plasma. When the gas was boosted on to an extremely high temperature, the energy begins to break the gas molecules apart and the atoms will also begin to split as well. This process will also affect the electrons and ions as the fast moving electrons will collide with other electrons and ions causing it to release a tantamount of energy. The enormous amount of energy being released by the collision is the reason why plasma has an unbelievable cutting power.

The plasma cutter actually works by sending a pressurized gas through the small channel in the cutting nozzle. You can find in the middle of the channel a negatively charged electrode. When you put power to a negatively charged electrode and touch the tip of the nozzle with a positively charged metal, it will produce a connection and coming from that connection is the creation of a circuit and a powerful spark. Plasma will be produced once the has that has been passing through the channel will be heated by the spark until it reach its fourth state form, so to speak. Did you know that the temperature of plasma can actually reach an amazing thirty thousand degree Fahrenheit and that once it reached that level, it became capable of cutting almost any material.

Aside from the ones being mentioned above, plasma cutter can also work by creating a high velocity plasma flow between the negatively charged electrode and the positively charged one.

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