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Types of Cutting Machines

4/4/2013 4:27:12 PM | by Anonymous

Cutting Machines

Cutting machines are devices used for cutting or slicing through materials to shape them according to the requirement of their application. There are various cutting machines available today that are meant for cutting material of all sorts. They are used for residential and industrial use and can be manually operated by a human or powered by an external energy source such as electricity. Electric powered cutting machines are often preferred for industrial use as they ensure accuracy and quality result to the material being cut. Industries also involve cutting of large and hard material which is not feasible to do manually. Some of the industrial cutting machines include plasma cutting and laser cutting machines to name a few.


Plasma Cutting Machines

These machines convert pressurized air to a plasma arc with the use of high frequency. The arc is formed when an inert gas is blown out of the copper tip of a plasma torch and touched the surface being cut. The heat that plasma generates is sufficient to melt the metal being cut. As it moves very quickly, the melted metal is blown away from the cut. Plasma cutters can either be manual and automatic. They are commonly found to shops that manufacture sheet metal and piping. The two contain different features that need to be considered to know which type to use. They differ in terms of portability, ease of use and functionality. Manual plasma cutters are typically smaller and can supply pressurized air to the cutter through its internal compressor. They can be operated by manually pulling the plasma torch. By simply reading the instructions, anyone can cut metal using this machine.


Automatic plasma cutting machines, on the other hand, has a control head mounted to a table which movement is controlled by a computer. Able to avoid operator error, this style can create accurate cuts to steel and other metals. The process of cutting metal could be faster with the use of automatic plasma cutting machines. It does not have to perform all the usual task of creating a lay out, aligning, cutting and cleaning a piece of metal. Instead, a programmer will enter a dimension into a computer which the plasma control head will follow. The metal loaded onto the plasma bed will then be cut according to the entered dimension. The disadvantage of automatic plasma cutting is that programming its software can only be operated done by someone who has adequate training to use it.


Laser Cutting Machines

Laser is a very strong light capable of cutting materials. Its ability to lacerate hard materials paved the way for the production of laser cutting machines. This cutting machine has three types namely moving material machine, hybrid configuration machine and flying optics machine. Moving material machine cuts a metal with a stationary laser beam while the material is being moved automatically by a mobile surface positioned beneath the laser. Its advantage is that the distance between the laser and the material to be cut is kept constant. The disadvantage of this type, however, is being the slowest compared to other option for it uses few optics.


In contrast to moving material machine, the laser beams while cutting an immobile material resulting to faster turnover times. Since the laser heads constantly moves, the distance between the head and the material changes which needs to be adjusted. Hybrid configuration, as implied by the name itself, means a cutting machine containing features of moving material and flying optics machine. In this type, both the surface and the laser head move. This mixture of movement results to a more constant laser stream and energy efficiency.

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