Plasma cutting - How to get a better cut (Part 2)
A main issue often encountered with plasma cutters is angularity or "beveling" of the cut. Nearly all standard definition plasma cutters will exhibit some beveling. You'll find more or less beveling between brands as well. Too large of consumables for the cut is a primary cause of beveling. Sizing consumables for the amp output of the cut will keep the beveling down. Drag cutting and moisture will also cause issues with beveling by increasing the wear on the consumable, and opening up the orifice to a larger size, even “angling” the hole in the nozzle, creating a more exaggerated bevel. Using a rolling stand off, or specially designed consumables that can protect the orifice where the flame exits by preventing the area from contacting the metal, will increase the life of the consumable. Of course using special dryers that you’d use in a paint booth, will increase consumable life as well. Reducing piercing, and plunge cuts will prevent the blowback of material on the torch face that creates rapid wear as well. Managing a consistent but minimal standoff height manually poses some challenge but is possible. Practicing will result in improved muscle control and smooth movement to reduce beveling caused by off angles caused from holding the torch wrong as well. Additionally, you will find that a torch will have a natural side, to which the bevel will always turn. Taking note of this will help in cases where the bevel is angled to the throw away side of the material.