In automotive body repair and other metal working applications, two pieces of metal that are spot welded sometimes need to be separated without damage to the base metal layer. The Powermax45® XP plasma system with a handheld torch offers a fast, cost effective solution.

Operating at 10 amp output current and using the precision gouging nozzle and shield, an operator can quickly gouge away the metal around the spot welds, allowing the pieces to be separated. The plasma arc can then be used to clean up or “wash away” the small amount of weld that is left on the base metal surface. (See video below)

Precision plasma gouging using the Powermax45 XP offers several compelling benefits over traditional spot weld removal methods such as drilling or grinding:

  • It’s considerably faster
  • The operating cost is typically much lower
  • The process is less fatiguing on the wrists, arms, and shoulders – an operator comfort and safety issue, particularly when removing a lot of spot welds

Practice makes perfect

Perfecting the technique does require some practice. However, a skilled operator will quickly learn how to avoid gouging into the base metal layer, or applying excess heat which could warp the workpiece. Where the sparks from plasma gouging might be of concern, non-working areas should be protected with a screen or fire-retardant blanket.

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