How Do Plasma Cutters Actually Work?

A plasma cutter is an object that can pass through even the ferrous of materials like metals and steel and that is because of the contribution of the unique properties of plasma.

Prior to us continuing the discussion about plasma cutter and how it works, let us first define what plasma really is. Speaking of plasma, it is known to be as the fourth state of matter apart from solid, liquid and gas and is also known as a hot ionized gas which consists of approximately the same equal numbers of positively charged ions and the negatively charged electrons. 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. By boosting a gas to an extremely high temperature will definitely result from the creation of plasma. If the has is being boosted into an extremely high temperature, it will cause the energy to break the gas molecules apart and also, the atoms will start splitting. With this, the fast moving electrons will also collide with the other electrons and ions which will lead to the release of an enormous amount of energy. The reason behind why plasma has an incredible cutting power is due to the enormous amount energy released from the collision.

The plasma cutter actually works by sending a pressurized gas through the small channel in the cutting nozzle. If you are to look closely at its center, there you can find an electrode that is negatively charged. The circuit and the very powerful spark is the product of the connection that is being produced when a negatively charged electrode has been applied with power and the tip of the nozzle touched a positively charged metal. The gas will continue to pass through the channels and the gas that has been passing through will be heated by the spark until it become plasma, the fourth state of matter. What makes plasma more incredible is that when it reach thirty thousand degree Fahrenheit, it is capable of cutting through almost anything.

Other than the things being stated previously, another way that plasma cutter can work is by creating a high velocity plasma flow coming the negatively charged electrode and the positively charged one.

Reference: top article