Handheld Plasma Cutter

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Hypertherm Powermax 350 Plasma Cutter

Description[edit | edit source]

A plasma cutter is used for cutting various materials using high-temperature plasma. Compressed gas (air) is pumped through a nozzle before passing through an electric arc. This arc heats the pressurized gas into a plasma state. Plasma cutting is a very effective but dangerous tool, as temperatures can easily surpass 40,000°F.

Note: Check with shop manager before using plasma cutter.

Safety[edit | edit source]


Insulated Gloves and Boots: The plasma system completes an electrical circuit between the torch and the workpiece. The workpiece and anything touching the workpiece are part of the electrical circuit. Accidentally touching these parts could cause a severe burn or fatal shock.

Eye Protection: Plasma arc rays produce intense visible and invisible (ultraviolet and infrared) rays that can burn eyes and skin. Wear eye protection (safety glasses or goggles with side shields, or a welding helmet) with appropriate lens shading to protect your eyes from UV and IR rays.

Skin Protection: Wear protective clothing to protect against burns caused by UV light, sparks and hot metal. Examples include:

  • Gauntlet gloves, safety shoes and hat.
  • Flame-retardant clothing to cover all exposed areas (e.g. you should not be wearing shorts).
  • Cuffless trousers to prevent entry of sparks and slag.
  • Remove any combustibles, such as a butane lighter or matches, from your pockets before cutting.

Ear Protection: Prolonged exposure to noise from cutting or gouging can damage hearing. Use approved ear protection when using plasma system.

Keep in mind the following safety guidelines before using the plasma cutter:

Safety Fire 01.png
Fire and Explosive Reactions
Safety Shock 01.png
Electric Shock
Safety Toxic 01.png
Toxic Fumes
Safety PlasmaArc 01.png
Plasma Burns
Safety Rays 01.png
Eye and Skin Damage
Safety Grounding 01.png
Safety CompressedGas 01.png
Compressed Gas
Safety Hearing 01.png

Using the Plasma Cutter[edit | edit source]


Note: The plasma cutter in the machine shop must be hooked up to an air compressor unlike the one in the above video.

Specifications[edit | edit source]

Machine Specifications:

Output Voltage: 90 VDC

Output Current: Adjustable, 16 – 25 Amps

Flow Rate: 270 scfh; 4.5 cfm (129 l/min)

Flow Pressure 60 psi (4.1 bar)

Cutting Specifications:

Recommended Capacity: 1/4" (6 mm)

Maximum Capacity: 3/8" (10 mm)

Severance Capacity: 1/2" (12 mm)

Materials Table:


Maintenance[edit | edit source]

Before Each Use

  • Check the air pressure.
  • Check the torch and consumables.

Every Week

  • Check the torch cap-on sensor system by listening for the micro-switch to "click" when the retaining cap is loosened. Check the Torch Cap Shutdown System as follows:
- Turn power On (I) and loosen the torch retaining cap.
- If shutdown system works properly, READY LED extinguishes and TORCH CAP LED illuminates.
- If the shutdown system does not work properly, turn power off (O) and check for proper air pressure, blocked or leaking hose, or loose torch retaining cap. Check the system by retightening the retaining cap and resetting the power as described above.

3 Months

  • Replace damaged or unreadable labels.
  • Service the filter and pressure regulator.
  • Check the air supply hose.
  • Replace any cracked parts.
  • Check the torch body and torch lead.
  • Replace the torch lead if the insulation is broken.

6 Months

  • Blow out or vacuum the inside of the power supply.

References[edit | edit source]

Specifications: http://www.hypermaxonline.com/powermax350_machine_specs.html

Manual: File:PowerMax350 Manual.pdf