Metal marking

The Powermax45® XP plasma system is an ideal tool for many widely used metal marking applications, including:

  • Part identification numbers
  • Score lines for weld or bend placement
  • Dimples for drilling applications

Specifically designed to provide a stable, low current plasma arc using the precision gouging nozzle and marking shield, the system can make high quality marks using a handheld or machine torch, with either air or argon as a gas source.

Light score and heavy score mark profiles

There are primarily two different types of mark profiles: light score and heavy score. Usually, the choice depends on whether the mark will be seen on the final product. If the mark needs to be visible after painting, for example, a heavy score is preferable. For temporary part identifiers that won’t be needed after final assembly, a light score is probably a better choice, as it can be easily removed with a grinder or covered with a layer of paint.

A number of parameters of the Powermax45 XP system can be easily adjusted to achieve different mark depths, widths, and appearances on various types of metal; for example:

  • A low output current of 10 amps will produce a light score.
  • A higher output current of 15 to 25 amps will provide a heavier score.
  • Slower torch motion speeds combined with a low torch-to-work distance will increase the width and depth of the mark.
  • Faster torch motion speeds with a higher torch-to-work distance will decrease the width and depth of the mark.
Metal marking using light air Metal marking using heavy air

Metal marking using light air

Metal marking using heavy air

Air or argon?

The choice of air or argon will also impact the mark width and appearance on different types of metals. Argon will give you shallower, narrower marks, and a cleaner final product. Air will oxidize the metal surface, producing small amounts of dross and a somewhat coarser mark than argon. It will also leave a dark layer of oxidized metal on the metal surface.

However, air does offer one big advantage: its relatively low cost. The electrical cost to produce compressed air is a fraction of the price of bottled argon. Where argon is required, automatic gas detection technology in the Powermax45 XP helps to reduce gas consumption in gouging/marking mode, providing significant cost savings compared to other plasma marking systems.

Metal marking using light argon Metal marking using heavy argon

Metal marking using light argon

Metal marking using heavy argon


The videos below feature the Powermax45 XP on a CNC table making both light and heavy marks on different metal types.

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