Plasma Cutting or Laser Cutting – What’s Right For You?

What Is Plasma Cutting?

Plasma Cutting is a very similar to Laser Cutting in that they both use compressed gas to cut materials. The difference is that whilst Laser Cutting uses either nitrogen, oxygen or compressed air to cut, Plasma Cutting uses a combination of of compressed air and inert gasses, such as hydrogen and nitrogen which when combined with high pressure and high speeds creates an ionized gas.

This method is used primarily on metals that are unable to be cut through traditional heat based methods. This includes materials with a highly reflective surface such as some grades of stainless steel and aluminium. Plasma Cutters tend to be more cost effective than laser cutting due to the relatively low run costs and on top of this they tend to have a smaller kerf, which means less material is lost when profiling. the nature plasma means that it's ideally placed to cut thicker materials at a lower operating cost.

Laser Vs. Plasma

Whilst laser cutting might be slightly more expensive and can only be used on thinner materials it's also much more precise in it's cuts than Plasma cutting. This allows it to cut much more intricate patterns for a more developed part. Potentially cutting down on the number of follow up processes required. Laser also has the the high quality part replication that a lot of customers require for consistency in their supply chain.

Laser Cutting also tends to have a lower distortion in it's cutting which helps to ensure a high quality finished product. Laser Cutting does have a higher tolerance over all which means that it can run for longer.


Sheet Metal Laser Cutting
St. Anns Operates a Trumpf Laser. For more information on Trumpf Lasers, click here

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What St. Anns Offers

St. Anns offers a cutting edge laser cutting service. We're pleased to be able to offer our customers an outstanding experience due to years of research, development and experience. This includes rapid lead times and high capacity manufacturing due to our lights out capabilities.

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