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Can co2 be used for a plasma cutter?

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  • Can co2 be used for a plasma cutter?

    I'm thinking of getting a small plasma cutter like a Spectrum 375 or Cutmaster 38 and was wondering if co2 could be used for out of shop work?
    I already have a co2 tank I use for running air tools and was wondering if it'd work for the plasma as well?
    Thanks,
    Manny

  • #2
    I think so but not positive as haven't done it myself (IOW, don't take my word for it). I have been told that nitrogen will somewhat enhance the plasma cutters abilities over regular compressed air.
    Coalsmoke's Website

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    • #3
      It seems that when plasma's first come out they recomended you use nitrogen for alum cutting....

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      • #4
        I think so, but you can also get compressed air in a bottle around here...

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        • #5
          OR:
          You can buy a small Plasma Cutter with it's own built in air compressor. That way you don't have to lug around an air tank to each job site.
          Millermatic 251
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Manny
            I'm thinking of getting a small plasma cutter like a Spectrum 375 or Cutmaster 38 and was wondering if co2 could be used for out of shop work?
            I already have a co2 tank I use for running air tools and was wondering if it'd work for the plasma as well?
            Thanks,
            Manny
            Plasma cutters use amazing amounts of air. Not as much as an air arc but still lots of air. I cannot imagine you finding the usage of a plasma cutter satisfactory without an air compressor.
            rvannatta
            www.vannattabros.com
            Miller Bobcat 225G
            Miller Big 40 ('79 gasser)<gone>
            Miller 375 Plasma cutter<gone>
            Lincoln Vantage 400
            Lincoln Pro-Cut 80

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            • #7
              My local welding dealer uses tanks of compressed air to demo plasma's as he doesn't have an air compressor at his shop, works just fine and gives adequate cutting time for the few times I'd need to do it. I also know nitrogen can do the job, but I already have a 20# co2 tank I use for running air tools in the field and was wondering if the plasma will function on co2 as well or is it a no-no. I have an air compressor at home for use there, and would rather stay away from the built in air compressor models.
              Manny

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Manny
                My local welding dealer uses tanks of compressed air to demo plasma's as he doesn't have an air compressor at his shop, works just fine and gives adequate cutting time for the few times I'd need to do it. I also know nitrogen can do the job, but I already have a 20# co2 tank I use for running air tools in the field and was wondering if the plasma will function on co2 as well or is it a no-no. I have an air compressor at home for use there, and would rather stay away from the built in air compressor models.
                Manny
                I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't. -- the air is used to cool the tip
                and blow the crap away. I can't see why co2 wouldn't work....
                rvannatta
                www.vannattabros.com
                Miller Bobcat 225G
                Miller Big 40 ('79 gasser)<gone>
                Miller 375 Plasma cutter<gone>
                Lincoln Vantage 400
                Lincoln Pro-Cut 80

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                • #9
                  CO2 no no

                  The plasma stream that is created for cutting is the ionized nitrogen in the air. Since air is 78% nitrogen it can be used as the cutting gas or 100% nitrogen. Other cutting gasses are used in specialty plasma systems but those too contain nitrogen, Hydrogen and Argon. These are multi-gas plasma systems that are ideal for SS.

                  Hope this helps.

                  A

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Andy, thats the info I was looking for.
                    Manny

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