There are several types of thermal cutting processes typically used in the market today to cut steel and other metals of different thicknesses (or sometimes other materials). The three primary processes used in thermal cutting are oxy-fuel cutting (oxyacetylene), plasma cutting and laser cutting. Oxy-fuel cutting is the oldest technology and is rapidly being replaced by plasma and laser cutting to achieve the increased performance and capabilities which industry demands today.
Plasma cutting utilizes a high velocity plasma gas jet formed by an arc and inert gas flow to create extremely high temperatures which melts the targeted material and forces the molten metal through the back side of the cut. Laser cutting utilizes a high intensity light beam to melt or vaporize materials and may incorporate a gas jet, which blows away the molten metal. The most common CNC controlled thermal cutting tables utilize either plasma cutting or laser cutting technologies to improve the cut quality of the material.
Some of the key benefits from plasma and laser air filtration:
- Worker health protection and minimized potential long term liability
- Energy savings and conservation through recirculated conditioned air
- Extended machine life
- Improved part / product quality
- Reduced housekeeping
- OSHA & EPA regulation compliance