High Precision Plasma Cutting Profiling

Table of Contents

Introduction
Advantages
Next Generation Plasma Cutting
Cutting Control for High Quality
Precise Plasma Cutting
Conclusion

Introduction

The global steel expert, Masteel has improved its metal cutting services by providing a new high precision plasma cutting facility. The latest equipment uses technology with a thinner plasma arc and smaller nozzle to provide high precision bolt holes and sharp cut edges with little to no finishing required.

Plasma cutting is often employed in fabrication and construction, thanks to its precision cutting and high speed together with comparatively low cost. Masteel is an expert in large-scale industrial cut and contour (CNC) applications and can deal with plasma cutting of alloy steels from stainless to mild steel in thicknesses ranging from 3 mm to 50 mm, respectively.

Plasma cutting employs gas heated by an electric arc (50-400 amps) to offer a focused plasma beam (highly energetic mixture of ions and atoms) that can rapidly melt a metal. The cutting mechanism is provided by a combination of high energy plasma and the pressure of gas stream. As the plasma beam melts through the steel’s thickness, the gas pressure pushes the molten metal aside. Usually, plasma cutting is chosen for cutting stainless steel, mild steel and even copper because of the oxides formed in flame cutting that slow down the cutting process.

Advantages

In the past, difficulties were faced with profiles cut with plasma systems including imprecise bolt holes and edges. For Masteel plasma cutting services, the new plasma technology was a total ‘game changer’.

  • Cuts smaller holes due to a lower kerf (width of cut)
  • Provides a cleaner cut dross free edge and precise bolt holes
  • Conveys less heat into the profile steel and this leads to a reduced Heat Affected Zone on the cut edges
  • Generally used in flatbed methodology in 2D and 3D modes, where intricate profiles can be cut with the help of a computer-controlled bed and plasma nozzles

Next Generation Plasma Cutting

Masteel has improved its profiling services for carbon and alloy steels by installing Kerf’s RUR3500p technology table equipped with a Lincoln Electric Spirit II 400 amp plasma cutting system.

Cutting Control for High Quality

In addition to being a rigid lightweight structure, the RUR 3500 technology table has a frame that is distressed and optimized before fitting its linear bearings for precise and smooth operation. Also, the frame runs on rails independent of the cutting bed, enabling its separation from the shock of loading and unloading of plates to maintain high precision. The motion control system controls the quality of the profiles produced from this set-up and utilizes twin side drives for smooth movement and high precision synchronized by the Burny 10 LCD Plus control system.

Another thing that is important for a cost effective production is the precision of the INOVA torch height control system, as this enables multiple profiles to be cut at one time. The RUR machine will permit Masteel to configure the lengths and widths of the machine according to customer’s specific requirements in dimensions up to 3,000 × 12,000 mm. it is also possible to configure the system for single plate processing or extended to allow pendulum loading with multiple plates. The RUR3500 is perfect for quality and control in plasma cutting.

Precise Plasma Cutting

Spirit II 400 Plasma Unit was selected by Masteel for its plasma cutting system because of the low operational costs and excellent cut quality. The edge quality that can be achieved by this unit is virtually dross-free with bevels of 2o or less and it uses 78% less gas than comparable units on the market. The unit combines the precision and accuracy of Fine Line technology for a narrow ‘kerf’ with advanced torch technology for a stable plasma column and optimized plasma gas flow. The system produces square, precise and almost dross-free cuts in materials of up to 75 mm thickness. For cutting mild and stainless steel, UltraSharp Hole cutting technology provides additional benefit in terms of excellent bolthole and slot precision (superior repeatability and cylindricity). This system is capable of producing 1:1 bolt-holes in mild steel from 3 mm to 25 mm and 3/4:1 bolt-holes in mild steel from 6 mm to 25 mm with eventually no restrictions for greater cutting amperage flexibility and for non-standard hole sizes (it can enable tags for ease of assembly).

UltraSharp cutting technology employs completely automatic configuration of the cutting parameters via the seamless integration of the INOVA® torch height control, SPIRIT® II plasma systems and BURNY® controllers. Even without manual programming, UltraSharp Cutting technology applies the most suitable cutting speeds and feeds for slots, holes and internal cut-outs. A significant advantage of the UltraSharp process is that it allows Masteel to enhance its product quality and design.

Conclusion

Masteel has installed the new RUR/Lincoln Electric plasma cutting technology, which is a ‘game changer’ for the production of high-quality steel profiles in a variety of configurations. With high precision, high-quality bolt holes and low dross cut edges, Masteel now provides the advantages and low costs of plasma cutting services.

Learn More About Masteel Plasma Cutting Profiling Services

References

  1. Making Plasma Cutting Easier – Using CNC Automation Technology by Brad Thompson and Kris Hanchette, The Fabricator, August 2003.
  2. http://www.lincolnelectriccutting.eu/en/products/plasma-cutting-systems/
  3. Sacks, Raymond; Bohnart, E. (2005). “17”. Welding Principles and Practices (Third ed.). New York: McGraw_Hill. p. 597. ISBN 978-0-07-825060-6.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Masteel UK Ltd.

For more information on this source, please visit Masteel UK Ltd.

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