5 Ways To Keep Your Cool

When the plasma torch cooling system is maintained, the plasma torch runs smoothly and efficiently.The cooler a plasma torch runs, the better the cut result – with less slag and unintended bevel.

Regular monitoring of torch coolant system integrity, as well as consistent maintenance of the entire plasma torch cooling system will yield longer consumable life, produce better cuts and lessen the time needed for post-cut grinding and cleanup.

If your plasma torch cooling system isn’t operating at its optimal level, check the 5 potential trouble spots listed below.

Or click here to go directly to system coolant information.

1. You Got Me Under Pressure

Regularly maintain the cooling system to avoid low coolant flow or high temperatures that can shut down your production line.Check the plasma torch cooling system pressure. If you see it is below the amount recommended by the manufacturer, a detailed check of the entire coolant path is in order.
  • Is the filter upstream from the pump old or dirty? Clean the filter or replace it with a new one.
  • Is the pump itself in good shape? As pumps age, their efficiency wanes. Adjust the pump to allow for wear — or better yet, replace it.
  • Are hoses and fittings flush and tight?

2. Resistance is Futile

As time goes by, coolant can take on tiny bits of copper and other particles of conductive materials. This contamination can cause difficulty in starting the torch, because the necessary power needed to fire the pilot arc is sapped by the conductive materials in the coolant.
The best way to diagnose this condition is with a conductivity meter, which measures resistance in the torch coolant. Your manufacturer can recommend the proper coolant resistivity for your system.
This video describes a typical conductivity meter.

 

3. Go With The Flow

Make a visual check of your plasma cutting cooling system with a simple flowmeter.The coolant may not be flowing through the system at the proper volume. Collect and measure the volume from the return line for about one minute, then see how your result stacks up against the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Consider installing a flow meter in the coolant line. It’s an easy, and inexpensive, way to visually check torch coolant system flow rate. They’re available in a variety of sizes with pipe or hose fittings. Check your equipment manual to determine the acceptable flow rate (GPM) for your cooling system and let this guide your buying decision.

 

It's important to regularly clean the plasma torch coolant.4. Keep Cool and Carry On

  • If you have checked out all the above and the coolant temperature is still running hot, you may have a failure with one of the mechanical or electronic system components, and the equipment manual will be required for further diagnosis. More troubleshooting clues and information about coolant here.
  • If the coolant is freezing on its trip through the system, make sure the mix of water-to-glycol matches the specifications recommended by your manufacturer for your climate. Glycol reduces the freezing point in water, making freeze-ups less likely.
    Learn more about coolant here.

 

5. Let’s Be Perfectly Clear About This

If you have found that returning coolant appears chalky white, most likely air is entering the system at some point. A main cause of this is a low level of coolant in the reservoir.

Make sure the level of coolant in the reservoir is always at the manufacturer’s recommended level. If coolant levels are correct and the milkiness persists, check the inlet connection on the pump, including the gasket, to ensure a tight fitting.


Check the 5 areas listed above to keep your PHD®, Hypertherm®, Esab® or Thermal Dynamics® plasma cutting torch running smoothly.

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Have a question about your plasma torch cooling system?
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