Can you explain how Hypertherm determines duty cycle for its plasma machines?

Hypertherm’s duty cycle ratings are calculated by running a given system at full output power while cutting metal at the maximum recommended thickness in a controlled environment set to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Input voltage also affects duty cycle. A power supply that operates on a wide range of input voltages is always more efficient with higher input voltage. Hypertherm shows these different duty cycle ratings for all of our systems.

Be careful when evaluating competitive systems, however, as there is no set standard among system manufacturers. Some manufacturers will use a lower ambient temperature rating and/or lower load voltage rating when testing to make their duty cycle appear higher. So don’t just look at amperage output for comparison; rather, look at the true power output – amps multiplied by load volts – at a rated duty cycle. Just comparing amps to amps will not necessarily determine actual performance!

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