There are many different types of plasma cuts and each one requires different processes and tools. If you do it wrong it can cost you lots of time and money, cutting into your profits.
In this article, we will explain the different types of plasma cuts and their proper tools, including the 5 different types of bevel cuts.
Let’s dive in.
Most plasma cutting is done with the torch positioned 90° perpendicular to the workpiece. This is called “straight” or “I” cutting. In this process, any bevel is considered undesirable and most operators will attempt to mitigate that by monitoring the performance of their machine and making sure all the parameters are properly set to get a square-edged cut.
Even under the best conditions, a bevel of up to 2° is usually considered acceptable, although it is possible to achieve a bevel of less than 1° using technology such as Clean Cut.
Using Bevel Cuts
Sometimes, however, a bevel is required. If the part being cut is thick and must be fitted and welded, a bevel will assist with fit-up and ensure that the weld is able to fully penetrate the workpiece and achieve a proper joint.
Traditionally, this was done with an oxy-fuel torch, a grinder, or other secondary processes. Today, CNC plasma systems are capable of producing high-quality beveled edges at the same time that they profile the plate.
Different Types of Bevel Cuts
There are five types of plasma bevel cuts, represented by the letters A, K, V, X, and Y. These letters are a fairly accurate representation of the cross-section profile of the part after it has been cut.
An “A” bevel cut is the most common type of bevel. It requires only a single pass of the torch and leaves a cut edge that protrudes on top.
A “K” bevel is the most complicated profile to cut, as it requires three passes of the torch to complete. It is a combination of a top Y and a bottom Y which leaves a vertical land in the middle of the cut.
A “V” bevel is basically an inverted “A” cut. It also requires one torch pass. The cut will protrude on the bottom edge.
An “X” bevel is a combination of an A bevel and a V bevel where the mid-point of the two cuts meets in the middle of the plate, leaving an X shape. An X bevel cut requires two torch passes.
A “Y” bevel requires two cuts and comes in two varieties. Top Y will have a V bevel that does not extend all the way through the plate, leaving a vertical face at the bottom. A bottom Y cut will be the opposite, with the vertical face at the top and an A Bevel at the bottom.
Due to the large number of variables involved in plasma bevel cutting, programming can be difficult. Many times a “trial and error” process is needed to dial in a cut program that meets the requirements of production accuracy and quality of the finished cut part without crashing the torch into the workpiece or generating an excessive amount of dross. Special consumables are usually required for bevel cutting processes as well.
Contact American Torch Tip or your local welding supplier if you have questions about bevel cutting with your plasma system.
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