Afrox gears up to support industry's automated plasma requirements

Looking for turnkey profiling solutions that match your longer-term cutting needs, specifically for cutting stainless steels and aluminium?  Look no further, Afrox is currently offering a range of packaged plasma solutions built around combining cutting tables from a European company called Pierce with Thermal Dynamics' plasma cutting technology.  Pierce has been identified as a preferred global partner, and we couple its flexible range of precision CNC profile cutting tables with Thermal Dynamics' water mist plasma technology, which offers an excellent combination of features for metallic materials such as stainless steel, aluminium, copper and titanium.

The Plasma Cutting Process

The non-transferred plasma arc can be used to cut anything that conducts electricity.  In principle, a primary gas is ionised to become a superheated current carrying plasma jet at temperatures of up to 28 000°C.  A secondary gas is used around the inner plasma stream to both constrict the plasma stream and to shield the heat-affected zone from the atmosphere. Basic hand-held systems use compressed air for both the plasma and the secondary shielding gases, but the air is split into two independent streams inside the plasma torch, one to form the plasma jet and the other to shield and blow away the kerf, clean the area around the cut and remove any slag and dross. This cleaning role of the secondary gas is a critical one, because it governs the quality of the cut.  While compressed air systems are ideal for thinner carbon steel sections, greater thicknesses with a higher definition cut quality require more sophisticated gases.  Nitrogen is typically used as the plasma gas with argon-hydrogen (H35) or nitrogen-hydrogen (F5) gas mixtures used as secondary gases.

Water mist technology can be used instead of using sophisticated and expensive secondary gas mixtures to achieve high definition cut quality.   Thermal Dynamics has developed a system that uses water to form the secondary shielding gas.

WMS plasma technology can replace laser cutting in cases where high precision (as opposed to very high precision) is acceptable on thinner plate and, in most cases, on thicker sheet where costs and productivity are a priority. Like plasma, water-jet cutting can also accommodate very thick cross sections and is a process capable of delivering quality and precision levels similar to those achieved by lasers. It is also a 'cold' process, so it does not produce a heat-affected zone or affect the chemical properties of the cutting edges.

In summary by combining Pierce CNC cutting tables with customisable widths and lengths and Thermal Dynamics’ plasma cutting technology, Afrox can offer fabricators HD plasma cutting solutions at a fraction of the price of competing technologies. And by adopting water mist technology, ongoing production costs can be reduced even further.

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