The plasma in Plasma Arc refers to the physical state assumed by a gas after it has been exposed to, and reacted to an extremely high temperature. It becomes an ionized state of a plasma gas, also known as the fourth state of matter.
Plasma Arc Cutting is a process in which an electronic arc ionizes a gas, creating a super-heated plasma arc column used to cut ferrous and non-ferrous metal alloys. The super-heated plasma jet is focused through a constricted orifice or tip, which directs the arc to the work piece. Advantages are high cutting speeds, and a narrow heat affected zone.
When cutting metal the plasma jet slices through the material and the molten dross is blown out of the cutting zone. PAC differs from oxy-fuel cutting in that the plasma process operates by using the arc to melt the metal whereas in the oxy-fuel process, the oxygen oxidizes the metal and the heat from the exothermic reaction melts the metal. Unlike oxy-fuel cutting, the PAC process can be applied to cutting metals such as stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, and other non-ferrous alloys.
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