Both plasma and laser cutters are common metalworking procedures. While both processes utilized focused thermal energy rather than a mechanical blade in order to cut, there are subtle differences between the two. Understanding how both cutters work and weighing the potential benefits or drawbacks of each can allow you to select the option that is best suited to both the project and materials you plan to be working with as well as any additional needs you may have. By determining which type of cutter is right for your business, you can ensure that you will be running your business at the highest level of efficiency possible.
The older of the two technologies, this form of cutting makes use of a plasma torch that creates a jet of plasma that is hot enough to cut through even the most durable materials. It is not uncommon for plasma cutters to produce temperatures as high as 40,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so working with a plasma cutter must always be done with care. Special eye goggles, industrial aprons, and other forms of protective equipment may all be necessary in order to avoid potential injury. Always consult any safety manuals that comes with a machine before you intend to use it. By ensuring you are keeping up with any safety regulations, you’ll protect both yourself and any employees that you have working on the job as well. Training with these machines is also important, as they are older and may require more specialized understanding to use safely and properly.
These cutters generate thermal energy by focusing light onto a small surface area through the use of an industrial laser. Commonly used to cut or etch even the hardest materials, laser cutters are capable of extreme precision and are the go-to tool for technical jobs, construction, and engineering work where precision is of the utmost importance. Laser cutters are also commonly employed in order to etch hardened materials like structural steel or highly reflective materials like copper. Whatever materials you are cutting, you want to make sure that your cutter can handle them. It would make sense to consider checking any guidelines that either the machine or the metal comes with before using a laser cutter. Following these guidelines will help you keep whoever is operating the machine safe as well.
Selecting the Right Cutter
While there are many jobs where either cutter may be a suitable choice, there are plenty of circumstances where one method will be able to provide clear advantages. While there are some types of lasers that are suitable for jobs that require a substantial amount of energy, plasma cutters are often the best choice for larger jobs or in situations where a simple cut may be all that is needed. A laser cutter will prove to be a better pick when attempting to etch a surface or to complete jobs that require a high degree of technical precision. Deciding on the right cutter isn’t a simple snap decision. Consider checking which other professional in your industry use in order to know what is right for your business. Cost, maintenance, and ease of use are all things to consider as well when you are deciding on the right cutter for you.
From construction and manufacturing processes to demolition, plasma and laser cutters are both powerful tools that have a wide range of different uses. Both cutters work using thermal energy that is able to provide a higher degree of efficiency and performance than many mechanical cutters. Understanding the differences behind their operational principles can allow you to more easily select the tool that will be best suited to your needs
Author's Score 4
Up Votes 35
Down Votes 1
Voted on 32 articles
Comments on Advanced Technology: How Do Plasma and Laser Cutters Work?