How Much Air Does a Plasma Cutter Need?

How Much Air Does a Plasma Cutter Need?

A plasma cutter is a tool that cuts almost all types of metals into different shapes. It is a tool/machine widely used in commercial fields like factories and shops. Plasma cutting involves a combination of electricity and heated gas/air to cut various electric conductive metals in pieces/shapes.

But exactly how much air does a plasma cutter need? In general, plasma cutting units use air pressure ranging from 4 – 8 SCFM processed at 90 – 120 PSI.

Besides other requirements, plasma-cutting equipment needs compressed air as well. However, different plasma cutters require varied air pressures (compressed air), depending on the central unit air compressor and the material’s thickness.

Moreover, the chart or table of air pressure on the plasma cutter indicates or direct accurate air pressure setting. Therefore, users can set the required air pressure with the help of an air pressure chart.

Air Compressor for Plasma Cutting

People prefer plasma cutting because it enables users to harness top-intensity heat for great-quality cuts. At the same time, using an air compressor with plasma cutting transmitted heat directly to the metal for the most precise cut. The process occurs when the superhot arc heats the system’s compressed air to the degree that air is converted into plasma.

The generalized requirement of air pressure for plasma cutting ranging from 4 to 8 SCFM at 90 to 120 PSI is suitable for the thickness of metal (steel) between 3/8” to 7/8”.

What Should be the Air Pressure for Different Plasma Cutters?

You have to understand the requirements of compressed air according to the type & size of the plasma cutter. Below are some standard plasma cutters and highly recommended settings for accurate air pressure.

The rough idea or example for air supply requirements for almost every kind of plasma cutting system are as follows:

  1. Small Units: The required air pressure for smaller plasma cutters is somewhere around 4 to 5 SCFM delivered at 90 to 120 PSI, with a thickness of 3/8 inches of steel. (Plasma cutter examples include Miller spectrum 375 and Hypertherm Powermax45 plasma cutter)
  2. Mid-Size Units: The air supply is recommended of 6 SCFM at 90 to 120 PSI for the thickness of steel cutting (5/8 inches to 3/4 inches) (e.g., Hypertherm Powermax 65, Miller Spectrum 625)
  3. Heavy-duty Plasma cutting units: Such plasma cutting units are perfect for cutting through steel with a thickness of ¾ inches to 1 inch and need air pressure of about 7 to 8 SCFM at 90 to 120 PSI. (For instance: Hypertherm Powermax 85, Miller Spectrum 875)
  4. Extra Heavy Units: The steel thickness ranges between 1 – ¾ inches for super heavy-duty plasma cutters and will take about the compressed air of around 9 SCFM at 85 PSI. (Such as Hypertherm Powermax 125)

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