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Plasma Cutters: Facts You Need To Know

A plasma cutter is an object that can pass through even the ferrous of materials like metals and steel and that is because of the contribution of the unique properties of plasma.

Let us first define plasma before we continue discussing about plasma cutters and how it works. Plasma, defined by wikipedia, is one of the four fundamental states of matter (other being the solid, liquid and gas) and is also known as an ionized gas which consists of positive ions and free electrons in proportions that results in more or less no overall electric charge, typically at low pressures (can be observed in the upper atmosphere and with fluorescent lamps) or at very high temperatures (like the stars and nuclear fusion reactors). When we were young, we learned about the states of matter and we are taught that there are juts three of them namely: solid, liquid and gas but the truth is that there are actually four states of matter and the fourth one on the list of plasma. As what is being mentioned in the previous statement, a plasma define as an ionized gas in which sufficient energy is being provided to free electrons coming from atoms or molecules and also, it is the one that enables the coexistence of ions and electrons. If you are curious as to how plasma are made, you can try boosting a gas to an extremely high temperature and you will get plasma. If the has is being boosted into an extremely high temperature, it will cause the energy to break the gas molecules apart and also, the atoms will start splitting. Apart from that, the fast moving electrons will also collide with the other electrons and ions thus releasing an enormous amount of energy. The reason behind why plasma has an incredible cutting power is due to the enormous amount energy released from the collision.

Speaking of how a plasma cutter works, it actually works by sending a pressurized gas or an electric arc through a small channel or a constricted opening which is the cutting nozzle. You can find in the middle of the channel a negatively charged electrode. The circuit and the very powerful spark is the product of the connection that is being produced when a negatively charged electrode has been applied with power and the tip of the nozzle touched a positively charged metal. As the gas continue to pass through the channels, the spark will heat the gas until it reached the fourth state of matter which is known to us as plasma. Did you know that the temperature of plasma can actually reach an amazing thirty thousand degree Fahrenheit and that once it reached that level, it became capable of cutting almost any material.

Other than the things being stated previously, another way that plasma cutter can work is by creating a high velocity plasma flow coming the negatively charged electrode and the positively charged one.

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