Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter VS Non-Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
Jun 09, 2023
When it comes to plasma cutters, two primary types are commonly used: pilot arc plasma cutters and non-pilot arc plasma cutters. Understanding the differences between these two types is essential for a professional welder,. In this article, we will explore the disparities between pilot arc plasma cutters and non-pilot arc plasma cutters.
Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
A pilot arc plasma cutter employs a high-frequency pilot arc to initiate the cutting process. This type of plasma cutter generates a small, low-energy electrical arc between the electrode and the nozzle, creating a plasma stream. The pilot arc is designed to withstand interruptions caused by the cutting process, allowing for stable arc performance even when encountering painted or rusty surfaces.
- Effective for cutting through painted, coated, or dirty surfaces.
- Capable of piercing through metal, eliminating the need for pre-drilled holes.
- Ideal for industrial environments due to its ability to handle challenging cutting conditions.
- Offers consistent and reliable cutting performance.
Non-Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
In contrast, a non-pilot arc plasma cutter relies on direct contact between the electrode and the workpiece to establish the cutting arc. The electrode tip touches the metal surface, completing an electrical circuit and initiating the plasma arc. Once the arc is established, the torch can be lifted for continuous cutting.
- More cost-effective compared to pilot arc plasma cutters.
- Simpler operation as it does not require a pilot arc starting sequence.
- Generally lighter and more portable due to the absence of pilot arc components.
The Differences between Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter and Non-Pilot Arc Plasma Cutter
Initial Arc Formation: Pilot arc plasma cutters use a high-frequency pilot arc, while non-pilot arc plasma cutters require direct contact between the electrode and the workpiece.
Cutting Conditions: Pilot arc plasma cutters excel in challenging cutting conditions, such as painted or rusty surfaces, while non-pilot arc plasma cutters may struggle with these obstacles.
Piercing Ability: Pilot arc plasma cutters can pierce through metal, eliminating the need for pre-drilled holes. Non-pilot arc plasma cutters require pre-drilled holes for piercing.
Cost and Portability: Non-pilot arc plasma cutters are generally more cost-effective and portable due to their simplified design without pilot arc components.
As a welder, choosing between a pilot arc plasma cutter and a non-pilot arc plasma cutter depends on the specific welding requirements and working conditions. Pilot arc plasma cutters offer advantages in challenging cutting conditions and piercing capabilities, while non-pilot arc plasma cutters are more cost-effective and portable. Understanding these differences will help welders make informed decisions when selecting the appropriate plasma cutter for their projects.