Gouging with Powermax SYNC

Posted on 10/15/2021 in Setup and support, Plasma cutting

In this video we show how to get the best results with the Hypertherm gouging cartridge on Powermax SYNC™ systems. Learn preparation and techniques to maximize gouging outcomes when gouging by hand. Remember, always wear the appropriate personal protective equipment when operating a Powermax SYNC.

Getting started with gouging cartridges

  1. Make sure the system is turned on with the torch in the lock, or yellow, position.

  2. Make sure the work cable and input gas supply is properly connected with the ground clamp attached to the work piece or table ground.

  3. Next, install the appropriate Gouging cartridge onto the SmartSYNC™ torch. The cartridge will automatically select the gouging process and amperage on the power supply. All gouging cartridges for the SmartSYNC torch are green.

    There are several part numbers to choose from depending on the amperage and type of gouge you want to produce.

    • Max control cartridges are designed for light material washing and for when a shallow gouge is desired.

    • Max removal cartridges are designed for aggressive metal removal applications.

    • If you are new to gouging, you may want to start with a Max control cartridge to prevent any workpiece damage.

    • The decal on top of the Powermax SYNC shows the image, amperage, and part number for each cartridge.

    • There is an icon next to each cartridge that represents the application.

  4. With the desired gouging cartridge installed, move the torch-lock switch into the green position. You are ready to gouge.

  5. To initiate a gouge, hold the torch at a 40-degree angle with the cartridge between 1/4 to 1/2 inch, or 6 to 12 mm, from the workpiece. When you press the trigger, a pilot arc will start.

  6. Transfer the arc to the workpiece by moving the pilot arc closer to the metal.

  7. Once the arc has transferred, pull the torch back from the material and stretch the arc to about 1-1/4 inches, or 32 mm.

  8. Push the plasma arc in the direction of the gouge you want to create. Keep a small distance between the cartridge and the molten metal to avoid damaging the cartridge or torch. Sustaining the maximum arc stretch while gouging will produce the optimal gouge profile.

Ways to change the gouge profile

The gouge profile is the shape left after removing metal from a workpiece. There are various ways to change the gouge profile to fit your needs.

  1. You can vary the gouge profile by changing the speed. Faster speeds will decrease the depth and width of the gouge, while slower speeds generate deeper and wider profiles.

  2. You can change the angle of the torch to the workpiece. You can see the variation in width and depth.

  3. You can vary the torch-to-work standoff distance, which also produces a different gouging profile.

  4. You can also adjust the Output current of the power supply.

Any of these techniques can be used to make either small adjustments or significant changes to the gouging outcome. For more versatility, there is also a 15-degree torch available for gouging applications.


For more detailed information on achieving specific gouging profiles, refer to section 5 of the Powermax SYNC operator manual.




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