View Full Version : air arc vs. plasma for gouging
10-01-2008, 12:00 PM
I recently got a new plasma cutter and have been using it to gouge with but it seems like I have to do more grinding on a gouge with the plasma then I used to have to do with the air arc to get a good weld. Does the plasma put more impurities in the surface than the air arc? I would like to know because in most instances the plasma is easier to use to remove metal. It isn't nearly as critical to keep the arc length just right. One difference that I noticed right off is that the slag from the plasma is harder to knock off and the surface looks a little more hazy. So what is the difference? Inquiring minds want to know. I'm a little disappointed in the amount of info in my owners manual. I thought that they would give more information on starting values. Probably more cya from the lawyers if there isn't any information then it isn't their fault. Anyone using a plasma for gouging and what kind of experience have you had.
10-02-2008, 02:23 AM
Are you using gouging tips?
10-02-2008, 10:57 AM
Yep, I am using gouging consumables. I had a couple different reps from hypertherm call me yesterday. Finally worked out that I needed to bump up my air pressure a little more. I was running at 35 amp and about 45 psi on the air. I changed the air to about 60 psi and now it seems to be gouging much better, almost all the slag is blown away now so it isn't a problem.
10-02-2008, 08:01 PM
I been old school and using the air arc even though the plasma machine has been sitting there for the last year and half. Finally I tryed the plasma and noticed right off alot less smoke! Seems easier to keep the cut going too. Although there are times I go back to the air arc mostly so I can use the 1/2" or flat 3/4" rods for wide cuts I am getting into the plasma! Not sure how it is set up for air pressure and such since the sales rep. and day shift take care of that.
10-03-2008, 01:05 PM
I'm right with you Mark61 I have been using an air arc for the last 20 years. I got my plasma to help deal with stainless and aluminum. Since I had it I thought I would try it for gouging. It is much easier to control than the air arc, much quieter too. Now that I have it working better I really like it. I think that I will start to use it to clean up casting. It looks like it will do as good a job as the air arc and be easier to use.