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4 Reasons Your Consumables Are Wearing Out Too Fast

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When you invest in a CNC plasma cutting system, you make a large investment up front because you know that a high quality system will not require significant financial investment after the purchase.  Through proper maintenance your CNC plasma system should function well and the majority of things that will need to be replaced are the consumables.  CNC plasma cutter consumables are primarily the nozzle and electrode, but also include the shield, retaining cap, and swirl ring.  When proper cut speed and system maintenance are achieved, consumable life is extended.  But, if you find that your consumables are wearing out too fast, or simply faster than you think they should, there are a few reasons that this might be happening. Below are 4 reasons your consumables are wearing out too fast.

4 Reasons Your Consumables Are Wearing Out Too Fast

  1. You Are Waiting Too Long to Change Out Your Consumables
    • It is never a good idea to burn out your consumables and use them until they blow. You will begin to notice your consumables are ready to be changed out when the arc becomes erratic and cut quality diminishes.  Change them out before the completely blow because it can cause damage to your plasma cutter.
  2. You Are Changing Out Your Consumables Too Soon
    • Some fabricators get in the habit of changing out their consumables after a pre-determined number of cuts, particularly if they are making many similar, repetitive cuts. But, if you are doing this you may be changing out your consumables too soon without realizing it!  Every project is different and factors like material, material thickness, number of cuts, etc. can affect how quickly you wear out consumables so rather than replace them after a set number of cuts, wait to replace them until you start to see diminishing cut quality.
  3. You Are Not Placing Your Torch At The Correct Height
    • Some fabricators get in the habit of placing their torch too high or too low which affects the plasma arc and cut quality and ultimately can wear out your consumables more quickly. Utilize automatic torch height control (ATHC) to maintain the proper torch distance from material and maximize the life of your consumables.
  4. Your Coolant Flow is Too Low
    • A plasma torch is incredibly hot because the plasma arc coming out of it is incredibly hot. Without proper coolant flow, your torch and consumables may be overheating and wearing out more quickly than necessary.  With adequate cooling fluid flow, you can extend the life of your consumables.

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