Metal Cutting: Plasma vs. Oxygen-Acetylene - Kevin Caron

Uploaded by kevincaron on 31.08.2010

(Text on screen): Metal Cutting: Plasma vs. Oxygen-Acetylene, Kevin Caron,
Kevin Caron: So, some of you have been watching my earlier video about all the different cutting tools,
and you emailed in and said, "Hey! What about the oxygen-acetylene or plasma cutter?"
Oops. Forgot those.
Here, you want to look at them? Come on over here. I'll show you.
So, the oxygen-acetylene . . .
heavy stuff. That's what I would use it for, is heavy metals.
Quarter-inch plate, up to an inch and a quarter; inch and a half. That's what I would use the oxygen-acetylene for.
The plasma cutter: all the thinner stuff. This one; this plasma cutter is only rated to a half an inch. That's all it'll cut.
The Voice: What model is it, Kev?
Kevin Caron: This is a Hypertherm. Hypertherm 380. And they come much bigger than this. You know, they come . . . 0:01:09.00, 0:01:15.000 You can get plasma cutters that will do the same thickness as an oxygen-acetylene.
It all depends on what you're going to be working with as to which one you want to go buy, really.
You want to see what they do? Yes?
The Voice: Yeah, yeah. Let's see it.
(Sorry; I was napping.)
Kevin Caron: Napping, yeah.
So, with either one of them, you’ve got to have dark glasses.
And you'd better put on some gloves, because there's all kinds of hot metal going everywhere.
And let's fire it up.
OK. First you've got to turn the bottles on.
It's afternoon.
So, this is a little piece of eighth-inch plate.
And all you want to do is get it hot.
And there you go.
Now, I'll show you something. Just a second.
So, with the plasma cutter, all you do is turn the switch on; hook up the air hose to it.
And it cuts that easy.
Yes, it's hot here.
The Voice: Which cut is cleaner?
Kevin Caron: Well, let me show you that.
That's why I made this little cut with oxygen-acetylene. Now, let me make a little one with the plasma cutter.
So come here; come here. Take a look. See this?
Are you zoomed in over here?
The Voice: Yep.
Kevin Caron: You can see this is the oxygen-acetylene cut. You can see how melted it is and kind of uneven on the edges.
And you can see where the plasma cutter, that nice, straight, even cut. Nice square sides.
Let me flip it over.
Now, you see, this is the oxygen-acetylene cut and this is the plasma cut.
The Voice: Can you turn it on its side?
Kevin Caron: See it?
The Voice: Yeah. 0:04:12.000 0:04:18.000, Kevin Caron: So, this is the plasma cut and then that's the oxygen-acetylene.
You see, the plasma does a much neater, cleaner, straighter cut. As long as you're within its tolerance.
Where the oxygen-acetylene will give you a much wider kerf. It'll take more metal.
It's a little more jagged; a little harder to clean up.
The plasma: cutting. That's it. Cutting. That's all you can do with it.
The oxygen-acetylene, if you change the tip, you can also use it for welding. You can use it for heating or bending.
The Voice: Will they both cut the same thicknesses?
Kevin Caron: Oh, no, no. Like I said, the plasma is rated up to a half an inch. It will cut a quarter. It will shear a half.
So, it will give you that nice, clean, straight cut up to a quarter-inch thick.
After that, it gets a little wobbly. It gets a little jagged.
You know; it gets a little more like an oxygen-acetylene, but it still only takes a sixteenth of an inch worth of kerf out of it.
The Voice: What about cost of the two units?
Kevin Caron: Oh, gosh. That unit, that little plasma cutter, it was just over a thousand dollars.
And you need compressed air and 220.
The oxygen-acetylene, the torch kit, with the hoses, with the gauges,
and then the two bottles and then the cart to haul it all around with: probably in the $500 to $750 range.
So, a little bit cheaper than the plasma, but that you can take; the oxygen-acetylene; you can take anywhere you want it.
You don't need any electricity for it, where with the plasma you do.
You need 220 and compressed air, or bottle gas; either one.
So, it all depends on what you're going to do with it.
See you next time.
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