What is Plasma? How Does a Plasma Cutter Work

You may hear about Plasma Cutting in fabrication and welding profession. A professional welder must know about plasma cutters. Professional welders need to cut the meatal and make it ready for welding purpose.

Now what is plasma cutting? How it works and why it is necessary in fabrication?

In this context, you will learn in detailed about plasma cutter and its functioning.

Let’s dig deep to the context-

How Does a Plasma Cutter Work

What is Plasma Cutting?

Before knowing plasma cutting, lets learn about plasma. Plasma is high velocity stream of ionized gas. It is generated by heating a gas, such as air, nitrogen, or argon, to a high temperature and using it to ionize the gas.

Plasma cutting is a process used to cut metal and other materials using plasma. An electrical arc is then established between the plasma and the material to be cut, which heats and melts the material, creating a clean and precise cut.

Plasma cutting is commonly used in metal fabrication and construction, as it can cut through a wide range of materials, including steel, stainless steel, aluminum, and copper, with high accuracy and speed. The process is also highly efficient, as it can produce cuts with minimal waste and little to no warping or distortion of the material. Additionally, plasma cutting is versatile, as it can be used for cutting intricate shapes and patterns, as well as for making straight cuts.

Overall, plasma cutting is a valuable tool for metal workers, fabricators, and construction professionals, offering a fast, precise, and efficient method for cutting a wide range of materials.

Before getting information about plasma cutters, you have to know about Plasma. Basically, we know that substances are three types. They are solid, liquid, and gas. But Plasma is one of the substances which is called the fourth matter. 

The matter is changed according to the situation. You can make solid to water by providing much heat. Also can cause water to gas through heat. Plasma is ionized like gas matter by electric power. 

You will not find Plasma here and there. It is sporadic in the world to see usually. You will get the Plasma at the top of the world’s atmosphere. So, it would help if you used a plasma cutter to cut a plasma.

Plasma Working Ingredients:

To perform your plasma cutting work, you need some ingredients. I will make a list of the top five tools. Let’s see;

Torch: It is one of the best ingredients of this plasma cutter. You must have a perfect torch to avoid any mistakes and face any significant troubles. It helps to set the alignment in the right place. You can see your focus places with the help of this plasma torch.

Gas: Gas is your most essential component. It would help if you cut the Plasma according to your need. You can’t use any gas here. You must have good knowledge about gases. Generally, you can use Nitrogen (N), Oxygen (O), And Argon (Ar). 

Power Supply: It is the most crucial stage in this process. If you can’t supply the power according to the situation, you will not be able to cut the Plasma. So, you must provide enough power, which helps stabilize the Plasma during the plasma cutting system. You must be aware of safety in this stage. 

ARC Starting Console: It helps you to start the process. It is a circuit that provides a voltage of 5000. It will produce the voltage at a frequency of 2MHz. This high-frequency power creates the sparks that help to start the plasma arc

Cooling: In this whole process, you have to produce so much heat. But if you don’t be aware of the consistent warmth, there can be a chance of firing. From the sparks, you may face an unwanted fire. That’s why you need this cooling process. In this stage, you make cool any matter if it becomes too much hot. Though it is risky, you can do it if you become careful.

How Does Plasma Cutter Work:

In this stage, I will show you how does it work. There are several operations available to perform this work. I will discuss the top two processes in this content. A plasma cutter sends an electric arc by a small opening that is full of gases. You can take the gas as you want. You can take these gases like Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Argon.

In this process, you should heat the gas as much as possible to convert it into Plasma. You can turn the Plasma into a circuit, and then it helps to cut the Plasma through a plasma cutter. Your small starter pushes the gas at high speed and creates a high temperature. 

After this process, you will find the plasma production begins. You can use the plasma torch, so set everything in the right place. A pilot arc plasma cutter can only help you in this process to cut the plasma cutter. Thus, you can cut your Plasma with a pilot arc plasma cutter.

Precision Plasma Operation:

This system is different from other operations. In this process, your electrode and nozzle will be separated by using a ring which is called a swirl. This ring will help you to convert the plasma gas into a vortex. 

Then, it would help if you started the power supply. It will try to produce a high voltage circuit. After that, Plasma will start following into the torch. Now, the nozzle will help you form a pilot arc circuit. You can create high frequency through the arc starting console.

In this stage, the spark will help the gas to turn into ionized. Then it will get the power of becoming a whole pilot arc. While the arc attaches with the working metal, you can cut the Plasma. Thus, you can perform your plasma cutting by following this operation.

Handheld Operation:

You can perform your work by using handheld operations. It is a prevalent and popular method nowadays. In this process, both the nozzle and electrode combines with the torch. It is known as a 110/220V plasma cutting machine.

While you push the switch, the power supply will produce DC current. After that, you will see that your gas begins to flow. This gas will produce high pressure on the nozzle. Then you will get the pilot arc that becomes plasma matter. Thus, you can cut Plasma through this process.

Plasma ARC Cutting Process:

Initiation: This is the starting moment of this process. Your whole work will start with this pilot arc initiation.

Main ARC Generation: This is the second process. Here all the main methods will work. It will make everything ready for your plasma cutting process.

Local Heating: In this stage, you can heat your gas according to your need. While the heating is done enough, you have to cool down the metal to avoid any risks.

Material Ejection: This is another essential part of this process. You have to maintain everything gets things going perfectly.

Movement: Here, the Plasma takes the movement. It keeps it before the ending of this plasma cutting process.

Advantages Of Plasma Cutting:

  • If you can cut your Plasma underwater, it will produce less noise.
  • If any material has electricity, you can cut Plasma.
  • You can manage more than one burner continuously.
  • It is suitable for automation and like this type of work.
  • You will get high-quality service thick and medium metals.
  • This process is very fast instead of other systems.
  • You can perform your work with any high materials.
  • This process is easy and safe than a different process.


What types of gas can you use with a plasma cutter?

You can use Argon gas while making Plasma. If you want to cut thick metals like Aluminum or Stainless Steel, you can use a mix of Argon and Hydrogen gas.

What do you need to run a plasma cutter?

You will need few things to run your plasma cutter. Continuous air pressure will need to perform this work. It would help if you also had an air compressor for running a plasma cutter.

Do I need gas for a plasma cutter?

Yes, you will need gas for the plasma cutter. Generally, you can use compressed air gas as it is used nowadays.


So, we get all the information about how does a plasma cutter work. In this content, I mentioned all information about plasma cutting. It will help you to cut your Plasma perfectly. But you need to follow all the instructions I provided in this article.

One more important thing is to become careful about the safety precautions. As there is a matter of heat in the whole process, you have

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