Technical difficulties are always relevant when using tools such as plasma cutters. One thing you may stumble across with your plasma cutter are things such as arc quality. Some of these can include inconsistent arc, non-existent arc or an arc which attempts to blow out the side of the consumables. Which we will explain better below.
Symptoms you may see in your work are poor cuts with excess lag or larger than normal cuts. Some may think that these issues are hard to fix however, you can solve these issues in a very short period of time. One important routine to practice is to always start by looking at the consumables when there is a issue since these are most commonly the culprit for any of the most common concerns. Each of our machines has four replaceable consumables to check out so let’s start out by taking one apart. First up to come off is the external nozzle which simply threads off. Upon close inspection you can see very tiny air holes on the inside of these which aid in cooling of the torch and keeping the arc in the proper direction. If these were to become blocked the torch will begin to overheat. This could possibly lead to an arc blowing out the side as it’s no longer directed properly. No need to worry though since with normal operation these last the longest of the consumables; (just double-check the air holes from time to time during long operation and before each cutting session).
Next up is the cutting tip. This is where all the action happens and the plasma arc is forced through. Being the workhorse of the consumables the cutting tip will be the fastest item to wear out. When checking for deterioration simply look at the center hole. The longer you are cutting the larger the center hole will become and it could possibly even elongate, allowing the arc to wander as the hole increases. You will find your cuts becoming slightly less clean with more slag as the precision from the original hole size is lost, not to mention the loss in thickness cutting capability. Enlarged cutting holes can also no longer support the same cutting thickness at a set amperage since the plasma arc is spread out over a larger area.
A air diffuser is next up in our sequence of parts and plays a vital role in air regulation. A chip melt or burned air diffuser from overuse can cut vital airflow inside the torch down which will not only degrade at the quality of the cut, but can also allow excess heat inside the torch which can cause other components to wear out prematurely.
Finally we have the electrode which depending on the model will either be a thread in or slide on to the torch (ensure threaded versions are tight as a loose electrode can cause an inconsistent spark). This part will be the second fastest to wear out so we recommend having a couple spares on hand for longer cutting jobs. As you can see consumables are the most common way to fix a plasma cutter that is acting up. We recommend keeping one of our consumable kits handy which will include all the necessary consumables for quick changing.
Wanna watch Versa cutter in action? Look below!