Plasma Welders - What They Are And How They Work

by Jerrico_Usher

Discover how plasma welders work and a little history behind them.

Welding is important for a large variety of tasks but making sure you have the right type of welder for the job is essential. Welders come in 4 distinctive types of which plasma is one of the more popular in industrial welding due to it's precision, variety of welding jobs it can do, and cost effectiveness and stability of the weld.

In this article I'm going to cover the plasma welders, how they work, what they are used for and how to select the best one. Ultimately selection is based on your needs and budget but I'll make a few suggestions.

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Plasma Welder
Plasma Welder
Hobart Airforce 500534 250ci Light Weight Plasma Cutter with Air Compressor

Designed to cut up to 1/4" mild steel and powered by standard 115 VAC, the AirForce™ 250ci Plasma Cutter has a built-in air compressor and lightweight inverter power supply, mak...

Hobart

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36 AMP AIR PLASMA DC INVERTER Welder Cutting Cutter Machine 8mm Thickness

Generic
Only $498.98

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Brand New Industrial Grade 3-in-1 Inverter TIG/MMA Welder, AIR Plasma Cutter

This auction is for a brand new 3-in-1 multi-functional welder. This welder is made with advanced inverter technology, and they have three functions: TIG/MMA/CUT. The inverter p...

MTN Gearsmith

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Welder's Handbook: A Complete Guide to MIG, TIG, Arc & Oxyacetylene Welding

Finch has updated and revised his classic handbook with the latest information available on welding, brazing, and cutting; equipment and safety; fitting and jigging; gas welding...

HPBooks
$19.95  $18.79

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Ramsond CUT 50DY 50 Amp Digital Inverter Portable Air Plasma Cutter Dual Voltage

One of the best selling portable plasma cutters. BRAND NEW IN BOX. 4TH Generation Ramsond CUT 50DY, a 50 Amp, Dual Voltage (110V and 220V), Dual Frequency (50 and 60 Hz), Invert...

Ramsond
$567.00  $562.86

View on Amazon

Plasma Welders

With a growing need for increased precision welding, the birth of the plasma welding technique was developed.

The introductory version was presented in 1964 and has continued to meet the changing needs of the precision welder.

Today this technique provides high quality welds to miniature projects or precise welds to those that demand this type of work.

The plasma welder functions at an equal level in both a manual weld as well as automatic applications.

The range of use is great. It has been utilized in aircraft repair, welding of surgical equipment, high volume strip metal welding as well as some common household appliances among other applications.

The actual process of plasma welding heats a gas (plasma) to such extreme temperatures that it causes the gas to become ionized. Once ionized, the gas is then electrically conductive.

It is through this gas (plasma) that an arc is transferred to the piece waiting to be welded.

The extreme heat that is transferred to the metal through the arc, melts the intended work piece and fuses it together.

In addition, this plasma is forced through a restricted opening of the gun offering the operator an extremely concentrated arc of heat.

This type of performance concludes in a high quality finish.

Pro-Fusion offers a Dual-Arc 80 Micro-TIG/Plasma   System that allows flexibility for the operator with the capabilities of both TIG and Plasma welding.

The plasma advantages include extended electrode use prior to contamination, gentle arc transfer as well as higher weld speeds in some applications.

In contrast, Thermal Arc sells the Ultima 150 Plasma Welder that is a strong competitor to the automation of the TIG. This welder provides a wide array of current range for use on many various applications. Moreover, it has manual as well as automotive control.

The general prices for these welders start around $1000.00. (but many can be found on sale for around 499.95, see right side). While the initial price is high, many companies describe the long-term savings found through the use of this type of welder.

A Plasma Welder has some cost savings that are ultimately reaped down the road. One positive element is the amount of increased productivity that will be gained by using this high performance welder.

There is reduced scrap and down time with the plasma welder system. Plasma welding requires fewer electrode changes, which also takes you to a lower cost and increased production time. On the other hand, the welder/operator must be well skilled in his or her occupation to correctly use the plasma welder.

Updated: 07/02/2012, Jerrico_Usher
 
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