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Protect your investment! Choose genuine torches and consumables for your Hypertherm® plasma cutting system and keep your system running at peak performance. Here’s why:
Patented technologies – Every day, Hypertherm® engineers are working on new ways to improve the plasma cutting process. Thousands of hours of engineering time focused solely on plasma consumable technology guarantees the best possible cutting performance from your system.
Synergistic design – Hypertherm® systems and consumables are designed to work together. System features and consumable designs are matched to optimize performance and reliability – to give you the best possible cut, over the longest service life.
Critical to function engineering – Hypertherm® engineers identify the critical features of each consumable part that will have an impact on cutting performance, and design accordingly. The specifications for these features are held to tolerance ranges that exceed even Six-Sigma quality standards.
Highest quality – Investments in the most current quality systems, state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and intensive machine operator training ensure that every consumable part that you receive from us will perform to your highest expectations.
The main function of the shield is to protect and cool the other consumables, especially the nozzle from molten splatter. In some cases, the shield also contributes to the swirling action of the plasma gas.
FineCut® consumables are ideal for cutting intricate, fine-featured shapes out of thin sheet metal. These specialty consumables are specifically engineered to provide squarer edges, tighter tolerances, and a narrower kerf on thin metals.
FineCut® consumables work with both hand-held and machine-mounted Powermax® plasma torches. If cutting by hand, FineCut® usage is straightforward, just install the consumables and start cutting. Although consumable installation and the plasma process are similar for the machine torch, the CNC machine capabilities ultimately determine the level of cut quality that can be achieved.
Fine-featured CNC plasma cutting
CNC cutting tables are available for any budget and can come with a wide range of capabilities. It is important that the table you choose has three things:
- A rigid torch mount.
- A good torch height control system.
- The cut speed capabilities necessary to produce smooth cuts with square edges.
Other things to consider:
- FineCut® consumables work best on mild and stainless steel, up to 45 amps.
- Consumable performance is impacted by the chemical make-up of the sheet metal, so expect occasional adjustments from one sheet of metal to the next. Slight differences are normal between batches of steel, so be aware of this and understand fine-tuning may be required.
- Use a shield (not a deflector) for the best cut consistency and nozzle life. The ohmic shield for the Duramax® torch is part number 220948.
- Wipe the front of the torch clean; spatter will affect cut quality and performance.
Always refer to and follow the Powermax® cut charts for your system. These charts include the specifications required for FineCut® consumable applications.
Some CNC machines will do an excellent job on materials thinner than 10 gauge, while others will not. If your CNC machine has the speed and torch control that’s required for FineCut® applications, you’ll likely be very satisfied with the results.
Five reasons you should always buy genuine products through authorized distributors and avoid counterfeit products:
Counterfeit suppliers have one thought in mind: a quick profit. They use the lowest cost materials and the cheapest, fastest production techniques; no stringent manufacturing processes, and no quality control. Their products are inferior, inconsistent, and unreliable.
Plasma torches are precision devices requiring precision consumables. Any deviation from specified tolerances may impact overall performance. Result: poor or inconsistent cuts, reduced cutting speed, and significantly shorter consumable life. Or even a ruined or damaged torch.
The low quality metals used in counterfeit manufacturing may not be able to withstand the thermal demands of plasma cutting, putting equipment and, more importantly, may put operators at risk.
- Aftersales support
If unknown parts have been used in a damaged torch or plasma system, it will make troubleshooting difficult, if not impossible. The use of unauthorized parts may also affect your warranty coverage.
- Overall operating costs
Those “low cost” counterfeit consumables can be a lot more expensive than they look. For starters, they do not last as long as genuine parts — often only a fraction of the cutting life. Poor quality cuts may require costly rework, and valuable equipment could be irreparably damaged. There’s also downtime to consider, not to mention the risk to your business or your brand.
HOW LONG WILL CONSUMABLES LAST?
Answered by Jim Colt, Strategic Account Manager at Hypertherm®
It’s hard to give an exact (or even in-exact) number as so many factors impact consumable life—operator experience, type and age of the torch, material type and thickness, air quality, etc. However, if the operator understands good piercing and edge starting techniques to keep molten metal from blowing back onto the torch nozzle (or tip if a non-Hypertherm system) then consumable life can be extremely good.
The biggest problem with most plasma torches occurs when hand cutting with an exposed (unshielded) nozzle. Ideally, you need to hold a standoff with an unshielded setup at all amperages greater than 30 amps or so. If the nozzle touches the plate during a cut it creates a current path between the negative electrode, nozzle, and positive plate. This causes a double arc between the electrode and nozzle, and the nozzle and plate, which damages the nozzle orifice. When the orifice gets a little damaged, poor angularity is the first thing you’ll notice, followed by more double arcs and more damage. Eventually you’ll notice slower cut speeds and heavy dross, at which point you’ll likely change your nozzle.
Some people use a standoff device to hold the torch up off the metal. Unfortunately, molten metal can still blowback during piercing, once again creating a current path from the nozzle to the plate and leading to double arcing. If you have used a hand held torch with an exposed nozzle at more than 30 amps while drag cutting, you’ve likely felt the torch “sticking” to the plate. This is a result of double arcing.
One way around this problem is through the use of shielded torch technology, invented and patented by Hypertherm® in the 80’s. The shield works to electrically isolate the nozzle from the plate to totally eliminate double arcing. Hypertherm® shielded torches drag cut at up to 200 amps with no friction or double arcing for a dramatic improvement in consumable life and cut quality.
In the 30 or so years since Hypertherm® introduced shielded torch technology, engineers have made enormous strides in the life of these consumables. For example, our Duramax® torches which come standard with nearly all new Powermax® systems and as a retrofit torch for most older Hypertherm® systems use the shield for more than just nozzle isolation. The shield and nozzle for these torches use patented technology called Conical Flow to inject greater air flow around the perimeter of the arc. This increases the energy density of the arc and provides better cooling to the nozzle. The result is no sticking, no double arcing, faster cut speeds, thicker piercing capability, and dramatically longer nozzle life.
So, assuming you are using a Duramax® torch with the latest consumable technology, then I would expect you to cut hundreds of feet of metal. In addition, you should be able to make between 600 and 1,200 pierces, after which time you would need to replace your electrode. Your remaining consumables would likely continue to work just fine. Put another way, you should be able to get between 2 and 4 full days of actual arc-on time before needing to replace any of your consumables.
One of the most common and frustrating problems in plasma-arc cutting (PAC) is short service life of parts. This problem hurts the fabricator both in increased consumable expense and in machine downtime for changing parts and troubleshooting. Most companies keep some record of parts life based on pierce counts, arc-on time, or the number of plates processed. The operator is usually the first to know when parts aren’t lasting as expected. Here are some technical tips to help the operator or maintenance troubleshoot a service life problem.
WARNING! Read all safety information in your operations manual before operating or repairing PAC equipment. PAC systems use high voltage and direct current (DC) electricity. Electric shock can injure or kill.