There are many reasons why you may be experiencing poor cut quality when using your CNC plasma machine.
Your CNC plasma cutting tip may be one of the primary causes for poor cut quality. Here are three ways that your consumables could affect cut quality.
1. Having worn consumables
If your CNC plasma cutting nozzle/tip appears damaged on the inside or outside, or if the hole’s opening widens and goes out-of-round, you should replace it. If your electrode’s hafnium (the hafnium is the small insert in the copper) pit-depth exceeds 1mm, it’s worn and will lead to damage on the inside of your nozzle as well. When replacing plasma nozzles and electrodes, it’s better to replace them both at the same time as a set. That way you'll have a perfect opening (orifice) and the perfect hafnium pit depth every time.
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2. Low surface area exposed to coolant
Increasing the surface area exposed to coolant helps prevent warping of the tip's orifice. This protects the arc’s form, helping avoid unintended bevel and dross that could result otherwise. A cooler-running tips and nozzles will last longer, delivering higher-quality cuts and less downtime for change-outs. If you see the cooling system pressure is below the amount recommended by the manufacturer, a check of the entire coolant path is in order.
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3. Not having a routine maintenance plan
When you’re consistently on track with installing good consumables into your CNC plasma torch, you’re setting yourself up for the best possible cuts. From monitoring gas pressure to making sure you have the correct piercing and height angle on your torch—there are plenty of things to consistently check throughout each shift.