Which CNC Steel-Cutting Machine Is Right for My Application?
In assessing which CNC steel-cutting machine is best for your operation, you should consider several variables, including the thickness and dimensions of the plate to be cut.
For light to medium industrial applications, there's the Shark Air CNC cutting machine or the Shark HD CNC plasma cutter. Each can handle up to 3-inch-thick plates and offers customizable length and width options.
Consider our Cobra CNC steel cutter for clean cuts and outstanding precision if you need a bevel cutter. Our CNC oxy-fuel cutting machine options include the Sabercut and Kodiak. Like all CNC cutting machine lines offered by Cutting Systems, the Raptor is ideal for heavy-duty applications — and it offers customizable widths up to 30' and lengths up to 250 feet.
How Do Plasma CNC Cutting Machines Work?
Before discussing the operation of a plasma-based CNC machine, it's necessary to understand plasma – the fourth state of matter.
You're familiar with the three primary states of matter — solid, liquid and gas. To change from one state of matter to another requires the addition of energy. For instance, if you add energy to ice, a solid, it turns into water, a liquid. If you add energy to water, it turns into steam, a gas.
If a gas like steam is exposed to high amounts of energy, it becomes ionized and electrically conductive, turning it into plasma. Common examples of plasma include lightning and the material inside fluorescent and neon tubes.
A plasma steel cutting machine takes compressed air, nitrogen or another gas and exposes it to high amounts of electricity — the higher the current, the hotter the plasma. The plasma jet, which is ionized by a high-frequency spark, is constricted and maintained by a specially designed nozzle and electrode.
This creates a current path between the electrode and nozzle, which forms a pilot arc of plasma. As the pilot arc touches the workpiece, the plasma arc is transferred to the metal, effectively cutting it into the prescribed pattern.
Plasma-based CNC machines are among some of our top-sellers – and for a good reason. If the precision cutting of stainless steel and aluminum is critical to your operation, a plasma CNC cutting machine is your best option.