Now, it is a known fact that the plasma cutter generates a plasma in one of two ways: – High Frequency (HF) Contact or Pilot Arcs. Which one your plasma cutter uses depends upon how old your plasma cutter is; the new high tech plasma cutters use pilot arcs. The major difference between the two is that high frequency contact models have to close a circuit with a work piece that produces electrical energy to cut whereas pilot arc possesses the tendency to cut anything. Their work procedures are completely different from each other. In low financial plasma cutters and old plasma cutters, you can still find the high frequency contact method that generates plasma. How it works is the plasma component is connected to the work piece by a clamp and wire and when the nozzle of the torch to the work piece is touched, the electrical circuit is created. An electric arc zips from the work piece, throw the plasma torch nozzle to the negative electrode inside the torch head. At the same time, the pressurized inert gas runs in the opposite direction from the torch head out onto the work piece. As the gas surges past the zapping electric arc, it is heated to around fifty thousand degree Celsius.
Here, at that heat, gas turns into plasma, which is a form of matter that is a liquid and a gas at the same time. It is this super hot and fast moving plasma that cuts the metal. Since the major plasma flow is formed in one step, the high frequency contact technique is said to contain one cycle.The Pilot Arc technique has a two cycle procedure. First, a high power and low amperage are used to make a small, high intensity flash in the body of the torch which creates a small pocket of plasma in the torch head without the requirement to touch the work-piece. A trigger is used to ignite the main plasma arc that can be used for cutting. The pilot Arc cutting technique is used in CNC plasma cutting machines.