What is plasma cutting technology?

By Hypertherm
Posted on 04/17/2014 in SPARK the blog, Plasma cutting

If you’ve used plasma, you likely already know this, but we are sometimes asked to explain what plasma is and how it works.

The best place to start is science class. If you think back to when you were a kid, you might remember learning about the three states of matter: solid, liquid and gas. For example ice, water, and steam. The difference between the three is their energy level. Add energy in the form of heat to ice and you get water. Add more energy and the water vaporizes into steam. Add energy to that and the steam becomes an ionized gas, creating plasma, the fourth state of matter.

So now we have plasma, but how does it actually cut metal? The plasma process works by taking this electrically conductive gas and using it to transfer energy from an electrical power source through a plasma cutting torch to the material. This concentrated arc cuts the metal while a gas blows the molten metal away.

If you’d like to learn more about how plasma is used to cut metal, we have an e-learning course that’s a great starting point. You can watch it by clicking here.

Posted in SPARK the blog, Plasma cutting
Tagged with Education, STEM