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CHOOSING THE RIGHT CONSUMABLES FOR CNC CUTTING APPLICATIONS WHAT TO LOOK FOR, AND HOW TO READ THE CUT CHARTS

In order to make the right choice of what consumables to use for the job in hand, several factors need to be considered, the cut charts help to provide the ideal system settings. The aim of the following advice is to give guidance on how to optimise the systems cutting performance.

   

MATERIAL TYPE AND THICKNESS

Choose the right plasma cutting system (plasma power supply and torch), it is important to consider the material type and maximum thickness to be cut.

CUT QUALITY

The next factor is the desired cut quality.

The Thermacut EX-TRAFIRE® SD and HD plasma cutting systems are the single-gas type using compressed air or nitrogen as the plasma gas. These system types have the added advantage of being portable and also offer the option for manual cutting at a fraction of the cost of a multi-gas system. The single gas systems offer a "Fit for Purpose" cut quality that is perfectly acceptable in most metalworking applications.

Multi-gas cutting systems provide the highest cut quality through gas combinations to suit differing materials. Mild steel, Stainless steel, Aluminium etc. can all be cut to produce an excellent edge profile with minimal 2nd ops required. A multi-gas system is a considered investment, initial purchase costs and running costs are considerably higher.

Poor cut quality
Thickness 15 mm 

Optimal cut quality
Thickness 30 mm 


EXAMPLE

To produce the optimal cut quality, the material thickness should be within the mid-range of the values shown on the cut chart. For the most appropriate choice of consumables and cutting amperage. See the following example:

In this example, the requirement is to cut 12mm thick mild steel, as shown below it is in the mid-range of the cut chart. Using the mid-range cutting amperage of 85A, a kerf width of 2.1mm and a cut speed set in accordance with next cut chart.

In order to cut faster, use higher amperage consumables (in this example, the next step up is the 105A series) and change the setup values in accordance with the cut charts.

MILD STEEL CUTTINGSHIELDED CONFIGURATION


EXAMPLE

This example shows the cut chart settings for the mechanised cutting of 12mm thick mild steel using the mid-range amperage of 85A. The "Best" cut quality is achieved with a cut speed of 1300mm per minute, the lesser "Production" cut quality is achieved with a cut speed of 1600mm per minute.  

MILD STEEL CUTTINGSHIELDED CONFIGURATION


EXAMPLE

The decision to use a higher cutting amperage and the outcome are shown in the example below. The cut chart is for 12mm thick mild steel cut at 105A, the effect on cut speed is considerable, "Best" cut quality speed is increased to 1800mm per minute and "Production" cut quality speed can be increased up to 2000mm per minute.

MILD STEEL CUTTINGSHIELDED CONFIGURATION


CONCLUSION

Thermacut® recommends the testing of different amperage consumable sets so a judgement can be made in choosing the consumables that deliver the desired cut quality.

The data content of cut charts is not fixed and firm, cut charts are a guide. Sometimes it is necessary to adjust the cut speed shown in the cut chart to compensate for material properties and temperature differences.

The higher the cutting amperage, the higher the cut speed will be for a given material thickness, with the same energy and gas consumption, this in turn increases the cost effectiveness and productivity of the cutting process with a lower cost per meter of material cut.

PACKAGE CONTENT OF EX-TRAFIRE® SETS
EX-TRACK® INTRODUCTION