TIG welding has no equal when welding complex joints with unrivaled strength for a wide range of metals. When it comes to cutting through metal with speed and ease, nothing performs better than a plasma cutter. Isn’t it amazing if you could TIG weld and plasma cut using the same equipment?
How can a TIG welder be used with a plasma cutter? The answer is to acquire a multi-process machine that has three built-in features: (1) TIG welder, (2) plasma cutter, and (3) stick, welder. This equipment is ideal for small businesses and hobbyists because it allows the user to weld using both methods simultaneously, thus eliminating the need for and expense of separate machines for each operation.
Difference between TIG welding and plasma Cutting
TIG welding is a type of welding that uses a non-consumable tungsten electrode to produce the weld. Plasma cutting, on the other hand, is a process that uses a high-velocity stream of ionized gas to cut through metal.
The main difference between TIG welding and plasma cutting is that TIG welding is used to join two pieces of metal together. In contrast, plasma cutting is used to cut through metal. TIG welding is a more precise method of welding than plasma cutting and can be used on thinner materials. Plasma cutting, on the other hand, is a faster process and can be used on thicker materials.
TIG welding is more expensive than plasma cutting because it requires more expensive equipment. Plasma cutting is more affordable and more suitable for large projects where speed is of the essence.
TIG welding Comes for multi-purpose
TIG welding is suitable for all applications, and most TIG welders can weld aluminium with filler metals such as tin. The technique of using a multi-processor TIG-only machine with the same capabilities is identical.
Some multi-process machines have an AC output of 20 to 200 amps and a DC output of 5 to 200 amps, with pulse frequencies ranging from .5 to 250 pulses per second. A multi-process machine’s TIG welding function may handle a wide range of projects. The most common are stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminium.
Setting connections with the TIG welding machine
This machine is unlike the MIG welding machine, where you need to set the gas and wire feed. You also need to set different parameters for TIG weldings, such as amperage, gas flow rate, and tungsten size and type. Because of this, it can be not easy to weld with a TIG welder if you’re not familiar with the process.
There are three types of power sources used in TIG welding: alternating current (AC), direct current electrode negative (DCEN), and direct current electrode positive (DCEP). AC is most often used for aluminium because it provides a cleaning action that helps reduce oxide buildup on the weld area. DCEN is typically used for steel and stainless steel because it provides greater penetration. DCEP is used to weld magnesium and other metals difficult to weld with AC or DCEN power sources.
Gas Isolating Shuttering
Argon is used as the shielding gas for most TIG welding. Metal cylinders ranging in size from 20 CF to 300 CF are filled with argon gas. The gas flow is opened via a top valve on the cylinder, and a regulator is generally connected to this valve to control the amount of gas flowing from the cylinder to the equipment.
A gas hose from the regulator to a port on the back of the machine will run once the regulator is attached to the gas cylinder. A fitting (usually of the “quick-connect” type) is found at the machine end of the hose, which will connect to a port on the back of the device marked “gas inlet.” TIG welding necessitates a minimum gas flow rate of 5 CFM (cubic feet per minute).
Connect the copper pipe and gas hose carefully before moving on to the next connection. A leak of shielding gas in a closed area or with insufficient ventilation might lead to an unsafe working environment.
Using the Foot Pedal
TIG welding is a “hands-on” method that relies more on feeling than precision. One of the welder’s main responsibilities throughout the weldment is regulating the amperage, which controls the intensity (heat) of the electric arc.
Many welders like to use a foot pedal to control the amperage, similar to a car’s accelerator pedal. Pushing down on the foot pedal raises the amperage, and releasing it reduces it.
Setting Up for the TIG Torch
Three connections are required from the torch to the multi-process machine. There will be a serial plug, a control wire, and a third line for the shielding gas.
Some TIG torches include a built-in modulator that works similarly to a foot pedal in altering the amperage during welding. The same serial cable connects to the identical control port as the foot pedal. As a result, the welder must choose how to change the amperage with a foot pedal or TIG torch because there is only one control port on the machine’s front.
How to Connect a Cutting Plasma Machine?
Ports and connections are shared across different processes because multi-process machines can execute three to four distinct operations from a single machine.
Between TIG welding and plasma cutting, the following ports or joints are shared:
- Connecting a gas line to the torch is straightforward. It should be noted, however, that the gas supply’s input and your machine’s output must be compatible.
For multi-process machines, compressed air (or shop) is enough for plasma cutting. Most producers want a minimum of 70 to 75 PSI and at least 5 CFM from the air compressor. The air compressor must be at least 25 gallons in capacity.
Plasma cutting, like TIG welding with argon gas, requires a regulator to control the compressed air supply’s flow and pressure. This component is already built-in on most multi-process equipment. It includes a water trap and dirt filter to feed clean air to the plasma cutter. (Many producers also recommend the installation of an extra air dryer/oil filter between the machine and the air compressor to eliminate all impurities and generate the cleanest cuts.)
The air compressor’s air hose will join the air regulator’s inlet port. Another airline will connect to the “gas intake” connector on the other side of the air regulator, which is also at the back of the machine. It is the same port that transmits argon shielding gas into the machine while operating in TIG welding mode.
Linking the Plasma Torch
The connections for a plasma torch are comparable to those of a TIG torch. The negative (-) port on the front of the multi-process machine is connected to one line, which is a serial connector that fits into the computer’s negative terminal. The control line connects to the control port, and the air hose is inserted into the “gas outlet” port.
Given the extreme heat levels involved in plasma cutting, almost all of the components of the plasma torch would need to be replaced after frequent or extended usage (they are thus classified as “consumables”). Electrodes, swirl rings, and nozzles are the most frequently changed consumables.
The plasma cutting accessories are connected to the correct jacks. Before beginning a plasma cut, double-check that the torch is correctly set up. Connecting a plasma cutter’s positive (+) port to another device will result in severe damage to both as attempting to use the plasma torch. At the same time, it is linked to the positive (+) port that will cause damaging consequences.
Plasma cutting is similar to TIG welding because it uses a high-voltage electrical arc generated and sustained through DC voltage. Plasma cutting is done on any substance that conducts electricity. The plasma torch is coupled to the machine’s negative terminal, and the work cable (return lead) is clamped onto the workpiece and connected to the multi-process machine’s positive (+) port.
Tips for plasma cutting along with multi-purpose machine
- Here are some basic pointers for cutting with a multi-process machine.
- Double-check that your work cable is securely clamped to work if you’re having trouble getting the arc going and transferring it to the work material. There must be direct and solid contact between the job and the clamp jaws. It’s possible that re-locate the clamp to a different position on the task or grind down the material until you expose a raw surface and clamp there.
- Plasma torches have built-in safety mechanisms. One of the most important is turning off arcing if any of the inner components are missing or installed incorrectly. At least once, even experienced plasma cutters have neglected to put the swirl ring in their torches.
- Using the correct torch angle and cutting speed is critical to prevent the development of dross and obtain clean, sharp cut edges. Starting plasma cuts at the workpiece’s edge is usually a good idea because it results in superior cuts while protecting the torch components from rapid wear.
- Start the torch upright for thinner material. As the plasma jet penetrates through the metal, gently tilt the torch so that the jet leads the cut (in other words, lean the plasma jet into the direction of the cut.
- A fan of sparks and flame should be between 10° and 30° trailing the cut beneath the material when a wound is made correctly. No angle in the sparks or flame (i.e., straight down underneath the metal) indicates that the torch travel speed (down the cut line) is too slow. Sparks will fly upward above the metal if the torch travels too fast, sometimes toward
Sparks from plasma cutting can travel up to 40 feet away. You’ll need protective head and eye protection, non-flammable gloves, and non-flammable attire to prevent harm.
As you can see, TIG welding with a plasma cutter is feasible as you have access to a multi-process machine.
How hot is a plasma torch?
Plasma torches can get extremely hot, upwards of 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important to use the correct torch angle and cutting speed to prevent the development of dross and obtain clean, sharp cut edges.
What is a plasma cutter used for?
Plasma cutters are used to cut through electrically conductive materials like stainless steel, aluminium, copper, and brass.
How does a plasma cutter work?
A plasma cutter uses an electrical arc to ionize a gas, forming a plasma jet that melts through the metal.
Is it dangerous to use a plasma cutter?
A: Yes, plasma cutting can be dangerous if proper safety precautions are not taken. Sparks from plasma cutting can travel up to 40 feet away. You’ll need protective head and eye protection, non-flammable gloves, and non-flammable attire to prevent harm.