Part 2 – X-Definition process technologies cause step-change improvements in mild steel performance

Posted on 08/07/2018
Posted by Hypertherm

Editor’s note: This is the second article in a three part series. Read Part 1

XPR™ and X-Definition™ plasma brought with them numerous new process technologies that delivered a step-change difference in performance, even compared with the recent generation of high definition systems. ISO 9001 measures a cut edge’s deviation from perpendicular and encompasses 5 ranges, with 1 having the least deviation and 5, the greatest deviation from perpendicular. Whereas on mild steel, conventional plasma is primarily an ISO range 4 and 5 cutting technology and high definition is primarily a range 3 and 4 cutting technology, X-Definition Plasma is primarily an ISO range 2 and 3 cutting technology. Another difference is that it holds onto those ranges for much of its enhanced (compared with earlier generation systems) consumable life.

ISO range 2 and 3 cutting technology

When cutting at 130 amps or higher on thicker materials, defined as anything greater than 12mm or  1/2” up to its maximum production thickness, the XPR is capable of delivering range 3 cuts for most of the life of a consumable set. When cutting thinner materials, defined as anything less than 10mm or 3/8”, with lower current processes (30 amp or 80 amp), X-Definition cutting is heavily oriented to ISO range 2 quality.

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At full 300 amp output on thicker materials, X-Definition Plasma found on the XPR300 can maintain consistent ISO range 3 cut quality throughout almost the entire life of a set of consumables. This compares with range 4 cut quality for earlier generation high definition cutting.

ART_XPR_PlasmaPrecisely CQC 80 A.png

On thinner materials (e.g. 10 mm or 3/8” and below) an 80 amp X-Definition Plasma process is consistently in ISO range 2 for more than 1,100 20 second pierces and cuts before moving into range 3 (note: tests were deliberately terminated at 2,160 starts prior to consumable end of life). This compares predominantly with range 3 and 4 quality for earlier generation high definition cutting.

Plasma vs. laser

In tests made alongside fiber laser, we found ISO ranges compared well across a variety of thicknesses. Below are two examples at 6 mm (1/4”) and 12 mm (1/2”), where X-Definition processes were selected to run at speeds meant to optimize both quality and productivity (so not just focused on quality). At 6 mm, X-Definition showed less average edge deviation from perpendicular and slightly lower variability in deviation even after 1,000 starts. The results were similar on 12 mm (1/2”) thick mild steel.

X-Definition Plasma optimizes both cut quality and productivity on 6 mm (1/4") thickness

X-Definition Plasma optimizes both cut quality and productivity on 12 mm (1/2") thickness

What do all these measurements translate into in terms of actual cut parts? Below are some examples of mild steel cuts that show what we are talking about.

CS_XPR_80A_6.35mm_400x400.jpgCS_XPR_80A_9.525mm_400x400.jpgCS_RippleCorner_400x400.jpgCS_XPR_300A_MS_400x400.jpg

 

From thinner to thicker mild steel cuts, X-Definition class plasma delivers a “buttery” smooth surface finish, sharp top edge with excellent perpendicularity and hole quality. Particularly on thinner mild steel, fine feature capability is very good.

Are you ready to see what today’s X-Definition plasma can do? If so, contact us today.

 

Read the final article in this series now

Posted on 08/07/2018
Posted by Hypertherm

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