It’s the pits: Poor fitting consumables

By Ann Thompson, Hypertherm
Posted on 26/04/2019 in SPARK the blog, Plasma cutting

Poor fitting consumables can cause serious performance issues and lessen life. To prevent issues such as melting, blow-outs, or oddly pitted areas on the nozzle or torch body, it is important consumables are snug fitting. If not, the nozzle and torch body will not make solid electrical contact, causing damage to your consumable parts every time the torch fires.

The photo below shows damage caused by a nozzle that was not fully inserted into the torch. A missing O-ring could cause this to happen, as could a build-up of dirt or dust. The end result is the same: the cap will not properly compress the consumable stack-up in the torch.

Photo 1 shows damage caused by a nozzle.jpg

Another cause of poor fitting consumables is pitting as shown in this photo:

Photo 2 happens when conductive coolant is polluted.jpg

Pitting like this, on the interior of the torch body near the coolant passage, usually happens when conductive coolant is polluted with dirt or when water is used in place of coolant. Not only does the torch body surface look bad, but it will be difficult to properly install the next nozzle you try to use. Unfortunately, the only fix is to replace the torch head. Corrective action then comes down to one of three things:

1. Replace cap: The inner nozzle retaining cap which holds the nozzle in place is damaged or worn and needs to be replaced.

2. Clean threads: The threads on the actual torch body are damaged or clogged, preventing the outer shield cap from screwing on tightly enough to compress the shield into place. The solution: try cleaning the threads with a clean cloth or paper towel. If that does not resolve the issue, then you’ll need to replace the main torch body. Part 220706 (HPRXD) or 220162 (HPR).

3. Check consumables: The torch is loaded with aftermarket or counterfeit consumables, not machined to tight enough tolerances. As a result, the consumables do not fit properly. The solution: replace with genuine Hypertherm consumables.

If you still have questions, contact the technical service team. 

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