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Guide to Plasma Arc Welding (PAW)

Posted on November-11-2021

What is PAW (Plasma Arc Welding)?

Plasma arc welding is a process that is very similar to TIG welding, mainly due to the arc formation that occurs between the pointed tungsten electrode and the workpiece. 

The main difference between PAW and TIG lies within the positioning of the electrode; with a plasma weld, the arc can be separated from the shielding gas envelope. This causes the plasma to be forced through a nozzle to help constrict the arc.


Overview of plasma cutting

Plasma cutting is a process that is used to cut through electrically conductive materials and alloys, such as plain carbon and stainless steel, aluminium, nickel alloys and titanium. It cuts through these materials using an accelerated stream of hot plasma.

Plasma cutting is known as a method of cutting called, ‘ thermal cutting’. This is because ionised gas is used to cut the required metal. Typically, this cutting method is used to cut thick metal plates or sheet metal.


How does the process work?

The process of plasma cutting works through creating an electrical channel of intensely hot, electrically ionised gas produced from the plasma cutter. The electric arc that has been produced can then help cut through the electrically conductive material, as long as there is sufficient heat. It is the high-velocity plasma mixed with compressed gas that separates the metal and enables the workpiece to be cut.


What are the advantages of plasma cutting?

  • Ability to cut all conductive materials
  • Ideal cut thickness recommendation of 50mm
  • Plasma cutting machines offer high precision and repeatability


Why is plasma cutting used?

This cutting method is typically used to cut all different types of metals, often in on-site construction. However, it is also used by designers and artists for signage and sculpture as well as for decorative panels and interior projects.


Contact Arc Welding Services

We specialise in welding equipment, supplies and tools that are available for hire or purchase. We also have a repairs, service and calibrations team that can help get your equipment back in working order. Get in touch with our team here at Arc Welding Services. You can give us a call today on 0121 327 2249, or fill out our online enquiry form and one of our team will be in touch with you shortly.

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