Laser cutting machine and plasma cutting machine are two major types of cutting machines in metal fabrication. So what is the difference between these two? Before telling the difference, let’s get to know the brief introduction of these two types of machines.
Plasma cutting machine is a kind of thermal cutting equipment. It uses compressed air as working gas and high temperature & high speed plasma arc as heat source to partially melt the metal and then uses high speed air current to blow away the melted metal so that a narrow cut kerf will be formed. Plasma cutting machine can work on stainless steel, aluminum, copper, carbon steel and so on. It features high cutting speed, narrow cut kerf, ease of use, energy efficiency and low deformation rate. Therefore, it is widely used in automobile, chemical machinery, universal machinery, engineering machinery, pressure vessel and so on.
Laser cutting machine uses high energy laser beam to scan on the surface of the material so that the material will be heated up to several thousand degree Celsius and then melt or vaporize to realize cutting. It doesn’t have physical contact with the work piece and features high cutting speed, smooth cutting edge, no post-processing required, small heat affected zone, high precision, no molding required and ability to work on any kinds of surfaces.
In terms of cutting precision, plasma cutting machine can reach within 1mm while laser cutting machine is way more precise, for it can reach within 0.2mm.
In terms of heat affected zone, plasma cutting machine has bigger heat affected zone than laser cutting machine. Therefore, plasma cutting machine is more suitable to cut thick metal while laser cutting machine is suitable to cut both thin and thick metal.
In terms of price, the price of plasma cutting machine is only 1/3 of that of laser cutting machine.
Either of these two cutting machines has its own pros and cons, so users can give a careful consideration of all the above mentioned factors before making a decision.
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