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Tactical CNC Plasma Tables Blog

Understanding the Differences Between Air Plasma, Mixed Gas Plasma, and High Definition Plasma Cutters

Cutting Metal with Plasma TableSelecting the right tool for the job is an important facet of the fabrication process. There are numerous plasma cutting systems on the market and each one has the capacity to deliver highly precise cuts time after time. Dependable, hard-working systems like those produced by Tactical CNC are at the heart of many fabrication workshops. Understanding the differences between air plasma, mixed gas plasma, and high definition/precision plasma cutting systems will enable workshop managers to select the right pieces of equipment for their operation floors.

Air Plasma Cutter

These systems utilized clean, dry air that is collected from the workshop environment and then compressed before it is used in the cutting matrix. This is one of the most popular cutting systems and most shops have one available. Air plasma CNC systems are relatively simple to use, low-cost to operate, and can be relied upon to perform a wide variety of cutting tasks.

Mixed Gas Plasma Cutter

In an air plasma system, the plasma is created by running an electrical current through the air supply. In a mixed gas system, the air supplied is finely calibrated combination of elemental gases that exist in a purer state than what is found in the normal atmosphere. This combination can be adjusted by operators to execute cuts on a wider range of materials. A mixed gas plasma system requires the input of different gases which must be factored into operating costs.

High Definition/Precision Plasma Cutter

These cutters also use a precisely mixed combination of gases such as oxygen, argon, nitrogen, and highly pure shop air together with gases that are pre-blended for use in plasma cutting systems. This complex combination results in very strong, very precise plasma arc. These machines are capable of producing an arc of 40 – 50K amps per square inch compared to the 12 – 20K amps associated with other cutting systems. The results are sharp, high quality cuts that are perfect for a wide range of precision fabrication tasks. These systems can be used on a variety of conductive materials, making them ideal for a large number of applications.

Which System Is the Best Choice?

The differences between these three different cutting systems are based on four particular factors. These are:

  • Type of fuel used
  • Cost of fuel sources
  • Type of material that can be cut
  • Precision of execution

People comparison shopping for different CNC cutting systems should look at these and other distinguishing factors before making their final decision.


Latest News

Still need an oxy-fuel station for the really thick plate?
Not a problem.
Tactical CNC introduces a single oxy-fuel station to compliment your plasma cutting system.
With the new Tactical 5 software, oxy-fuel parameters are also loaded for operator convienience.

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