Metal Cutting Methods:
Laser Cutting vs Plasma Cutting

Which metal cutting method is better?

Laser Cutting vs Plasma Cutting

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Metal Cutting Methods:

1. What is plasma cutting?

Plasma cutting is the first form of cutting that was developed in the 1950s as an alternative to flame cutting. Plasma cutting involves firing a superheated, electrically ionized gas, such as plasma out of a nozzle at high speed toward the work piece. This creates an electrical arc within the gas.

The electrical arc ionizes some gas, creating a plasma channel that is electrically conductive. The heater torch sends electricity through the plasma and, as a result, enough heat is generated to melt the workpiece. By using compressed gas and plasma, the molten metal is blown away, resulting in the separation of the work piece.

2. What is Laser Cutting?

Laser cutting technology was developed in the 1960s so that diamond dies could be shaped. With this thermal cutting process, oxygen, nitrogen, and compressed air laser is used along with a computer-directed high-power laser to burn, melt, vaporize, or blow away the material being cut.

Laser emissions are generated from a tube and received by mirrors reflected from it. For cutting or engraving, the laser beam is focused on the surface of the material by a lens inside the head. CO2 and fibre lasers are commonly used.

Metal Cutting Method Comparison:
laser cutting vs plasma cutting

How do I decide which cutting machine is right for the job?

Material thickness and material types are important factors to consider. Laser cutters have higher accuracy and consistency, while plasma cutters are more versatile and require less capital investment.
A laser cutter is generally suitable for parts that have tight tolerances and need high-precision cuts or that are thin or medium in thickness.
A plasma cutter is commonly used for: parts made from metals with a high degree of reflection, parts made from thicker materials, or parts with simple shapes.

In Conclusion

Comparing the metal cutting methods, Laser and plasma cutting methods are both capable of cutting metal. Nevertheless, they function differently, as explained previously. The laser cutting process makes use of amplified laser light, whereas the plasma cutting process uses plasma.

Depending on the cutting requirements of your project, Omnidex Laser can recommend the most suitable cutting machine. A range of fibre laser cutters is sourced from our long-time manufacturing partner – AMADA, currently one of the top two press brake manufacturers in the world. Our ESPRIT Viper 4000 (a plasma cutter) and Gas Profile laser cutting machines can produce high-quality metal laser profiling products. Their superior efficiency and performance, as well as an intuitive operating system, set them apart. 

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if you'd like to learn whether a laser cutter or plasma cutter is the right machine for your business.

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