Laser Cutting Machine VS Plasma Cutting Machine, Which is Better?

Which is better, laser cutting machine or plasma cutting machine? In fact, they have their own advantages and disadvantages, but they are also very different, such as working principle, cutting quality, use cost and so on.


Difference between laser cutting machine and plasma cutting machine


1. Different working principles

Laser cutting machine focuses the laser emitted by the laser into a laser beam with high power density through the optical path system. The laser beam irradiates the surface of the workpiece to make the workpiece reach the melting point or boiling point. At the same time, the high-pressure gas coaxial with the beam blows away the molten or vaporized metal. With the movement of the relative position between the beam and the workpiece, the material will eventually form a slit to achieve the purpose of cutting.


Plasma cutting machine is a kind of gas heated to very high temperature and highly ionized. It transfers arc power to the workpiece. The high temperature melts the workpiece and is blown off, forming the working state of plasma arc cutting. Then, a plasma arc is used as a heat source to melt the metal. Cutting is an arc, so there is often a certain arc in case of cutting failure. Therefore, when the section we need is right angle, the plasma cutting machine is no longer applicable.


2. Different cutting quality

In terms of cutting accuracy, plasma can reach within 1mm and laser can reach within 0.2mm. Therefore, the precision of laser cutting machine is higher.


The laser cutting machine can realize non-contact cutting with the workpiece surface, with small cutting gap, high precision, small heat affected zone, smooth cutting end face and no burr.

However, the cutting gap of plasma cutting machine is slightly larger, the cutting end face is rough and unsmooth, and the cutting accuracy is low.


3. Different cutting materials

Laser cutting machine is suitable for cutting a wide range of materials: metal, non-metal, ceramics, glass and so on. Plasma cutting is suitable for cutting all kinds of metal materials, mainly thick plate cutting.


4. Different costs

The purchasing price of plasma cutting machine is much cheaper than laser cutting machine, because laser cutting machine is composed of many precision parts, and the cost of mechanical parts is higher.


However, in terms of consumables cost, the consumables cost of plasma cutting machine is very high. For example, the whole cutting torch (nozzle, swirl ring, electrode, etc.) needs to be replaced within a few hours, and the plasma cutting machine consumes a lot of power.

On the other hand, the consumables cost of laser cutting machine is very low, there are few vulnerable parts, and there is almost no need for maintenance.



Advantages and disadvantages of laser cutting machine and plasma cutting machine


1. Advantages of laser cutting machine


1) Fast laser cutting speed: the cutting speed of sheet metal can reach 10m / min, which is much higher than that of plasma cutting machine.


2) High cutting quality: small deformation and smooth cutting table. The laser cutting groove is very small, and the laser cutting surface can be directly used for welding without grinding.


3) High cutting precision: the precision of laser cutting machine can reach 0.05mm, and the precision of repeated positioning can reach 0.02mm.


4) Laser cutting materials have a wide range of applications: metal and non-metallic materials. There are metal laser cutting machines and CO2 laser cutting machines suitable for non-metal.


5) Laser can also be used for engraving, welding, drilling and other operations, with powerful functions.


2. Disadvantages of laser cutting machine


The cost of laser cutting machine is high, and the initial investment and maintenance cost are high. At present, thin plate laser cutting has high cost performance, but when the plate cutting efficiency is low, unless the quality requirements are high, improper laser cutting is used.


3. Advantages of plasma cutting machine


1) The advantages of plasma cutting machine are more concentrated plasma arc energy, higher temperature, faster cutting speed and less deformation. It can also cut stainless steel, aluminum and other materials.


2) Plasma cutting machine has advantages in cutting thick plates, because in the process of thick plate cutting, it can achieve very high cutting speed, which is much higher than laser and flame.


4 disadvantages of plasma cutting machine:


1) Plasma cutting will produce harmful gas and arc: the principle of plasma cutting determines the arc intensity, noise and dust in the cutting process, which will pollute the environment to a certain extent. Underwater plasma cutting is generally used for medium and thick plates, so the cutting thickness is limited.


2) Perpendicularity difference of cutting surface: one side of the cutting surface will have a large inclined angle, and the perpendicularity is poor.


3) During the cutting process, more cutting slag is produced on the surface during the cutting process. Because it does not affect the process quality, the slag after cutting must be ground, which also increases the labor cost.


4) Plasma cutting has large heat affected zone and wide cutting seam. It is not suitable for cutting thin plates because they will deform due to heat.


5) Fast consumption of consumables such as cutting tools. Now the cutting nozzle mainly depends on import, and the cost is relatively high.

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