There are advantages to both CNC plasma cutters and waterjet cutters. The choice between the two will be based on the needs of your production line. There are differences in the cutting processes between each type of cutter and these differences impact the cut speed, high temperature heat distortion, cut quality, kerf width, and the ability to make a clean cut in your base material. At Boss Tables, we offer various options when it comes to CNC plasma cutter models.

CNC Plasma Cutting

Plasma-based CNC machines use gas forced at high pressure through a nozzle, which produces an electrical arc that begins a chain reaction. This reaction raises the temperature of the gas very high, changing the gas into plasma, a fourth state of matter. The temperature of the plasma is so high that it cuts quickly through conductive metal, while blowing a significant amount of molten metal away from the workpiece, which makes it a more precise and neater process than welding. Due to the faster cutting rate of CNC plasma cutting, it is great option for cutting thick materials. However, the speed involved tends to reduce precision.

The high temperatures associated with plasma cutting makes heat distortion a serious issue. Pierce splatter from the plasma jet is also a serious issue – this involves the spray of molten metal on the piece because of the thermal process. The quantity of material removed by the cutting edge, called the kerf thickness, is also much bigger than in other modalities.

Waterjet Cutting

A waterjet cutting machine uses a combination of water and abrasive material that is shot against the metal surface at high pressure. These devices cut at a slower speed than plasma cutters. However, they tend to produce a higher level of precision, somewhat akin to that of CNC laser cutters.

The margin of error may be enhanced further with the addition of other resources that minimize taper. The enhanced level of accuracy achieved along with the lack of heat distortion found in a CNC plasma cutter, gives waterjet cutters the higher cut quality with only a minimal amount of finishing or sanding work required for usability.

With more knowledge about the operation of CNC plasma cutter machines and waterjet cutters in particular environments, you can choose the best option for your needs.

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