Need Steel Fabricated? Learn The Pros And Cons Of Plasma Cutting

Steel fabrication involves taking a sheet of steel and transforming it into an object. This could be a pipe, a beam or even a part for a car. There are different techniques that are used to transform a plain metal sheet into the object you are after. One of the first steps to transforming a sheet of steel is to cut the sheet. There are various ways a fabrication company can cut steel including oxy-fuel cutting, plasma cutting, laser cutting and abrasive water jet cutting. Learning the benefits and downsides to each cutting method will help you decide which is the best way to cut down your steel sheet and begin the steel fabrication process. Here are a few of the pros and cons of plasma cutting.

Disadvantages of Plasma Cutting

  • Noise

One of the biggest disadvantages to cutting steel using a plasma cutting technique is that this technique is noisy, especially when a fabricator is cutting through thick steel or multiple sheets of steel at one time. Oxy-fuel and laser cutting methods are much more quiet than plasma cutting. Having a loud environment can make it harder for other employees to concentrate and can even affect the hearing of employees who are subjected to this sound all day long. Due to the noise associated with this technique, not all fabrication companies offer this method.

  • Can Only Cut Steel and Certain Types of Metal

The other downside to plasma cutting is that this cutting technique can only be used on certain types of metal, such as steel. It can't be used to cut wood or plastic materials. Other types of steel fabrication cutting techniques, such as abrasive water jet cutting and laser cutting can be used to cut other materials. If you are constructing an object that is going to be made from a variety of materials, you may want to use a cutting technique that can be used on all of the materials so the materials all have the same cut and finish to them. This creates consistency and cohesiveness. Unfortunately, plasma cutting can't give you that cohesiveness unless you are solely working with steel or other light weight metals such as aluminum.

Advantages of Plasma Cutting

  • Low Cost

One of the biggest benefits to using plasma cutting during the steel fabrication process is that it is relatively low cost. This is in comparison to oxy-fuel and laser cutting. Plasma cutting machinery is cheaper to purchase and cheaper to use, which results in the lower prices. If you are on a tight budget or don't have a lot to spend on steel fabrication, plasma cutting may be ideal for you.

  • Less Training Needed

The other major advantage to plasma cutting is that it doesn't take much training for those who work these machines. A plasma cutting torch is relatively easy to use. Those with minimal training can make clean, straight cuts. This is not the case with oxy-fuel, laser or abrasive water jet cutting. This means that you have to spend less time finding a fabricator who has years of experience or training when you are looking for someone to do plasma cutting. Additionally, this also helps to reduce the price, as skilled and trained fabricators often command a higher rate based on their experience.

You have many decisions to make when it comes to steel fabrication. Some of the most important decisions you have to make involve the fabrication techniques that are used to transform a plain steel sheet. The techniques you decide to use impact your budget and the overall appearance of the item you are producing. If you are considering using plasma cutting during the fabrication process, but are unsure, learning the pros and cons can help you make an educated decision. That can help you feel secure that you have made the right decision for your product and business. For more information, contact a company like Moorhead Machinery & Boiler Co.