Plasma Cutting 265

This class describes plasma cutting equipment and the basic procedures for plasma cutting, gouging, and piercing.

Class Details

Class Name:
Plasma Cutting 265
This class describes plasma cutting equipment and the basic procedures for plasma cutting, gouging, and piercing.
Number of Lessons:
Additional Language:
Related 2.0 Class:
Plasma Cutting 283

Class Outline

  • Objectives
  • What Is Plasma Cutting?
  • Power Supply
  • Plasma Cutting Torch
  • Starter Types
  • Air Flow Control
  • Plasma Cutting Safety
  • Preparing a Cut
  • Steps for Cutting
  • Cutting Guides
  • Plasma Gouging
  • Plasma Piercing
  • Mechanized Plasma Cutting
  • Basic Troubleshooting
  • The Advantages of Plasma Cutting
  • Summary


  • Define plasma cutting.
  • List the major parts of a plasma cutting machine.
  • Describe the plasma cutting torch.
  • Distinguish between types of starters.
  • Explain the control of gas by a plasma cutting machine.
  • Describe basic plasma cutting safety.
  • Explain how to prepare for a cut.
  • Explain the plasma cutting procedure.
  • Describe the use of a cutting guide.
  • Explain how to gouge metal with a plasma cutting machine.
  • Explain how to pierce metal with a plasma cutting machine.
  • Describe basic mechanized plasma cutting.
  • Describe basic troubleshooting techniques.
  • Describe the advantages of plasma cutting.


  • AWS SENSE Level 1


Vocabulary Term Definition
air compressor A component that pressurizes ambient air and directs it into a plasma cutting machine.
air flow control The regulation of air flowing from an air compressor. Gas flow control is achieved with a flow control valve.
amperage A measurement that indicates the amount of current flowing in a circuit, which is measured in amperes.
arc welding A welding process that uses heat generated from electricity to melt filler metal and base metals to form an airtight weld.
consumables Any part of a plasma cutting machine that may wear over time and usage. Nozzles and electrodes are the two main consumables, though some torches have others.
cutting arc A stream of plasma used to cut metal workpieces. The cutting arc is formed by an electrode superheating air pumped into the torch.
cutting guide A device that attaches to the plasma torch and restricts the movement of the torch to ensure proper cutting.
drag shield A shield that mounts on the front of a plasma torch in order to prevent it from getting too close to the workpiece.
electrode A device that conducts electricity. In plasma cutting, electrodes are one of the two main types of consumables.
filter plate The shaded protective lens inside a helmet that filters harmful rays and intense bright light.
flow control valve A valve that allows an operator to precisely control the amount of air pressure being supplied to the torch.
gouging The use of a plasma cutting torch to remove an old weld or any imperfections in a workpiece.
heat-affected zone Also known as the HAZ. The area around a cut affected by the heat of the plasma torch. Plasma cutting does much less damage to the heat-affected zone than oxyfuel cutting.
high frequency contact starter A type of plasma cutting machine starter that uses high voltage circuits to start the arc. High frequency contact starters can cause interference with other machines and tend to only be part of older plasma cutting machines.
HVAC Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning. The HVAC industry is responsible for the installation and maintenance of various climate control systems.
inches per minute A unit of measurement for feed that indicates how many inches the plasma cutting machine can travel in one minute.
infrared Invisible rays emitted during the plasma cutting process. Infrared rays can damage vision.
inverter A newer technology in some plasma machines that saves space while allowing for higher voltage by converting AC power to DC power.
multi-axis Able to move along more than one linear axis, including additional rotational axes. A multi-axis CNC cutting table is able to cut complex shapes on multiple axes, instead of just straight lines.
nozzle The part of the plasma cutting torch at the tip that directs gas into a narrow cone around the electrode. Nozzles are one of the two main consumables in a plasma torch.
oxyfuel A mix of oxygen and a fuel gas that is used to fuel a flame for welding and cutting metal.
piercing The use of a plasma cutting torch to create a hole in a metal workpiece quickly.
pilot arc starter A type of plasma cutting machine starter that uses the contact between the nozzle and electrode to create a pilot arc. When gas flows into the torch, it separates the nozzle from the electrode, and the arc between the two causes plasma to form.
plasma The fourth state of matter that is created by superheating a gas.
plasma cutting A method of cutting metal workpieces with a jet of air, ionized by an electric arc to create plasma.
power supply The device that provides DC power to the plasma cutting machine.
safety lock A part of a plasma torch designed to prevent the trigger from accidentally being pressed. Safety locks differ between torch models.
starter The method by which the plasma cutting machine starts the formation of plasma. Starters may be either high frequency contact starters or pilot arc starters.
state of matter The form matter takes, depending mostly on temperature and pressure. The states of matter are solid, liquid, gas, and plasma.
superheated Rapidly raised in temperature. Superheating gas causes it to become plasma.
torch The handheld unit used to cut the workpiece. Air is pumped into the torch and converted to plasma at the tip of the torch.
ultraviolet Harmful invisible rays emitted by the arc during plasma cutting. UV rays can damage vision and burn skin.
voltage A measure of electrical pressure or potential known as electromotive force. Voltage is measured in volts.
working lead The path used in some plasma cutting to conduct electricity from the machine to the workpiece. Working leads are required with high frequency contact starters.