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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    136

    Default 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. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Langley BC Canada
    Posts
    4,634

    Default

    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.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    765

    Default

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

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
    Posts
    68

    Default

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Galt, Ca.
    Posts
    65

    Smile

    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.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Rainier, OR
    Posts
    495

    Default

    Quote 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
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    136

    Default

    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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Rainier, OR
    Posts
    495

    Default

    Quote 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

  9. #9

    Default 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

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    136

    Default

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

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