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Plasma Cutting Glossary

Posted by on 7/5/2011 to Hypermax Plasma Cutting Blog

An electrical current that reverses its direction at regular intervals, such as 60 cycles alternating current (AC), or 60 hertz.
The measurement of the plasma cut angle.
Auto-Voltage™ Circuit
Input sensing that allows the system to run on a variety of voltages with no rewiring.
Bevel Cut
The cutting technique that uses a tilted torch to produce an angle on the edge of parts being cut.
Patented technology provides a pilot arc
Boost Conditioner™ circuit
Hypertherm technology that compensates for input voltage variations.
Computer Numeric Control
Coaxial-assist™ jet
Patented jet design boosts cutting speed as much as 20% over conventional designs.
Lag Lines
Grooves in the cut surface that are the result of the plasma arc.
Drop Cut
A cut that results in one section of the workpiece dropping away from the main piece
The molten waste material created by thermal cutting processes that often solidifies on the top or bottom of the plate. Also called slag, dross is produced in different amounts and can be easier or harder to remove depending on the cutting process that created it.
Dual-threshold™ Pilot Circuit                 
Hypertherm technology that significantly reduces nozzle wear by increasing the pilot current precisely when needed.
The part of a consumable set that emits electrons in a steady stream to form the plasma arc
ETR (Easy Torch Removal)
A unique connector design that provides easy switching between hand and machine torches.
A line of Hypertherm consumables that deliver significant improvements in cut quality on thin-plate metals by providing a narrower kerf width, reduction in dross and virtually no heat-affected zone.
Free Hand Cut
Cuts made without the benefit of a straight edge or template
Guide Cut
Cuts made using a straight edge or template to guide the cut along a predefined path
Removing metal from the surface of the plate without full penetration; used to remove old welds or prepare a surface for welding
The metal used commonly as an electron emitter for air or oxygen plasma gases
Heat Affected Zone
The part of the metal that has undergone structural changes due to intense heat. Heat-affected zone (HAZ) cannot be seen. Although one of the side effects of HAZ can be a heat tint that is visible, the size of the heat tint is also affected by the surface condition of the plate. Therefore, the size of the heat tint and the heat-affected zone may not be the same.
The width of a cut made by the plasma arc.
Plasma, sometimes called the fourth state of matter, is a high-temperature, ionized gas.
Plasma Cutting
Process in which electrically conductive gas is harnessed and controlled. A torch holds consumable parts, which constrict and control the ionized gas stream or plasma arc for cutting most common metals.
The part of the plasma system that is used to perform the actual cutting


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