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Old 11-03-2009, 07:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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cnc plasma speed & amperage settings

Anyone willing to share there speed & amperage settings? I am still fine tuning my TM3 table and figured I'd see what other people are cutting at. I plan to cut mostly mild and cold rolled steel, but on occasion cut Aluminum & Stainless.

My setup:
TM3, Hypertherm 1000, machine torch, 60A tip.

Thanks,
Pete.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I just cut out a sign for a bee keeper out of a sheet drop that measured .095 +/-

40A tip
Air PSI - 70 to 75
AVHC-set at 93or 94
Feed rate-65
Pierce height-.18
initial cut height-.12

Torchmate 3 with Thermal Dynamics A120

That's the only one I remember off the top of my head, all the rest I have written down so I wouldnt have to try to remeber them

Last edited by MQYJ; 11-04-2009 at 03:47 AM.
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Old 11-05-2009, 08:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I will ask my tech guys to post up some settings that they work with here. Remember, there is no hard and fast rule. We will cut for days at one setting and then all of a sudden we have to recalibrate. So many things can come into play. My guys have what they call a "Line Speed Test" that they use to setup the machine when they change materials or see cut quality change. Basically, they setup like ten lines all cutting at different speeds and then a box around them to drop the part out. Flip it over and look to see which speed minimized the dross, then setup your sheet for that and away you go. Let me take a picture of one.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Here are some pictures of a line speed test we show people during demo's here in our facility. You are looking at 3/16" material cut at 60Amps I am guessing. Look at the second picture showing the backside. The cut on the far left was at probably 130ipm and the one on the right is at 10ipm. Note that slag and kerf width changes immensely depending on speed. When you are going too slow, the slag is thicker but chips off easier and the kerf width is wider. When you are going too fast, it welds itself on there pretty good and your cut is a much thinner line. There is a happy medium, but you are better off going too slow than too fast because cleanup is faster.

We do a lot of test cutting for plasma cutting manufacturer's looking to improve their cutters. I have just about every make and model cutter sent through here at one point or another. The third picture shows a line speed test from a new cutter that is being developed by a manufacturer. Still work to be done on that one. I pulled this sample out of our scrap bin. As you can see, we go through A LOT of material.
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Old 11-05-2009, 09:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When cutting like that. Does it change the line speed needs as the material heats up?
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Old 11-05-2009, 10:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torchmate View Post
I will ask my tech guys to post up some settings that they work with here. Remember, there is no hard and fast rule.
With Cut Quality being the overall goal with adjusting your speed and amperage, I will explain a few things below about what it is, and how to achieve your nominal cut.

When talking to a new or potential customer I explain your potential cut quality as a combination of Speed, Height, and Amperage. Each one of these values will have an effect on the quality of cut in every type of material. When I'm talking about quality, I would define that as Bevel (angle of the face of the cut) and Dross (slag building on top and bottom of the material). Kerf, or Cut width is a factor as well, but because most machines have the ability to offset for this width, it doesn't tend to matter nearly as much as the Bevel or Dross. We run our Line Speed test at a particular set height and amperage. Most plasma cuts on .1" material and thicker we usually recommend running at or above 40 amps. Our Thermal Dynamics and Hypertherm cutters recommend a cutting height of approximately .125" to .1875" for these amperages. This is set value number one for our line speed test. The Amperage is a matter of installing the correct tip into the torch head, and setting the amperage value on the face of the plasma cutter to match this tip, +/- 5%. With the second part of this equation is then set. At these values we run our line speed test. As the pictures illustrate above, we basically run from too fast to too slow, 130 to 10 inches per minute (ipm) at 10 ipm intervals. With this coupon of material cut out, we can easily look at the Bevel, Dross, and even measure kerf width from it at our best cut speed. Say none of the cuts look good, we can make an adjustment to the height or amperage and run the same test again. This is an easy way to determine appropriate values for your Speed Height and Amperage.

Speed: If your speed is too fast, you will usually experience a wider cut at the top of the material, to a skinnier cut at the bottom with a small bead of dross that is difficult to remove. If the speed is too slow you will have a wide kerf, with good bevel but large dross accumulation. While the bevel may be good, and the dross easy to remove, cutting too slow will result in longer cuts for paths, quickly degrading consumable life, and excessive warpage of the material. A correct speed results in a uniform dross accumulation of manageable proportions and good bevel defined as 3-8 degrees of bevel by the plasma cutter manufactures.

Height: If you height is too far away from the material, you will have a wide bevel at the top of the material, and the torch may have trouble extending the arc that far resulting in missed cuts, and bad consumable life. If the height is too low, you will have a wide bevel at the bottom of the cut, and may have trouble piercing the material or keeping the torch going if it comes into contact with the material during a cut. On both Thermal Dynamics and Hypertherm plasma cutters, if the tip comes into direct contact with the material at an amperage higher then 40, it will automatically reduce it's amperage output to 40 amps. For example, cutting at 80 amps it would reduce your cut capacity be half, and you will more then likely lose your pierce at this point. With correct height, you should have appropriate bevel, and it won't be stressing the torch by being to far away or possible damage the cut or consumables by touching it. This is easier explained by a simple chart out of our basic troubleshooting guide.



Amperage: This one is a little trickier, and when running a line speed test comes in handy. You can cut .125" plate with 100 amps, and you could probably run it at a rapid speed that would make the cut look decent. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. You can make the same cut at a reasonable speed with much less heat distortion running 40 amps. I always recommend running the lowest amperage possible that the line speed test determines gives you the best cut. This will reduce duty cycling and air consumption.

The little known/talked about facts:

Cut direction matters, when dealing with Plasma, the right hand side of the torch moving away from you will give you less degrees of bevel, and less dross. This is due to the circulation of plasma coming out of the tip. This means Clockwise external (male) cuts, and Counter-Clockwise internal (female) cuts. In our Torchmate CAD software this is the "Climbing" option under the basic cut tab of the tool-pathing window.

Quality of air also matters. Having moisture in the air lines not only decreases consumable life, but it can also have an effect on your cut quality. The results may be negligible, but I have heard of reports of less dross on the cuts from people who have changed their air system to run a dedicated air dryer for their Plasma cutter.

Volume of air has it's consequences as well. While purging air, at the regulator at the plasma cutter supple, you should have at least 75psi to 85 psi. The longer the torch lead the higher this should be.

With all of this being said, at our Reno NV Facility with clean dry air, we typically cut .125" mild steel plate at 40 amps and 85 ipm. .1875" mild steel plate is cut at 60 amps, 80 ipm. .25" mild steel plate 60 amps at 55 ipm.

Aluminum being a less dense material, usually results in a faster cut then the same material thickness then steel. Also high speed dross on aluminum is almost non existent, but when you go too slow you get a really large accumulation of dross that is difficult to remove. (Think melted shredded aluminum)

Stainless steel usually results in a lower speed cut, and a cut face that is rougher then mild steel cuts. The dross is a carbide accumulation that unlike mild steel isn't easy to remove, and requires some mechanical assistance. I would recommend cutting this with the idea being as little cleanup work as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyBeerMan View Post
When cutting like that. Does it change the line speed needs as the material heats up?
Not that I have ever noticed on long cuts. What does change is with an Automatic Arc Voltage Height control is that the electrode wears over time. When the electrode wears it gets shorter. Because the height is based off of the arc voltage reading between the electrode and the material, this can cause the tip to slowly progress closer to the material. If you stick with the new electrode every two tips, this usually won't amount to much height difference. Now if you are working tight tolerance work where the torch doubles back on itself and puts a lot of heat into one sliver of material, this can cause the material to become red hot, and this accumulates dross more then a cooler piece of material.

-Mike

Last edited by HardcorewannabeXJ; 11-05-2009 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 11-09-2009, 06:24 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you are cutting with a Hypertherm system.....give me specifics on material thickness...which system you have and I'll be happy to help you get close to the best consumables and cut speeds and torch height/arc voltage for your application. I've been cnc cutting for over 30 years......work for Hypertherm and have a cnc machine with Hypertherm plasma in my home shop.

Jim colt
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Old 11-10-2009, 04:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input everyone, I really appreciate it.
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Old 11-11-2009, 06:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Looks like I'll be calling Torchmate today, I can't get the torch to stop diving into the material. I have played with height and voltage with no luck.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Looks like I'll be calling Torchmate today, I can't get the torch to stop diving into the material. I have played with height and voltage with no luck.
Did our guys take care of you? What was the problem?
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I've been running without the AVHC for now, since I have been cutting all 1/4" and my gantry and table are digitally level to 0 degree's, plus all my cuts aren't more than 6" right now. I call next week when I throw some 1/8" and double check the settings wit ha tech before hand.
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Old 11-18-2009, 06:19 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Where is your ground clamp connected?

I was having some issues with the OK to move signal and talked a bit with xr8ed from here. He asked me that same question. I had it on the slats and not the work piece. Once I switched it over I have not had a single bad pierce.

That's all I got.
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Old 11-19-2009, 08:23 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I clamp directly to the material.
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Old 01-23-2010, 06:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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thanks for the info
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Old 03-27-2010, 01:01 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Plasma cutting

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimcolt View Post
If you are cutting with a Hypertherm system.....give me specifics on material thickness...which system you have and I'll be happy to help you get close to the best consumables and cut speeds and torch height/arc voltage for your application. I've been cnc cutting for over 30 years......work for Hypertherm and have a cnc machine with Hypertherm plasma in my home shop.

Jim colt
Hi jim, Im using a torchmate 3 With a hypertherm 1650. I cut anywhere from 11g to 3/4. I was wondering if you could give me your suggestions for 3/4 plate. Also i am starting to cut out more artwork type of things, and I think im going to use 10g plate. Also ive never used a fine cut tip and im sure that would be better for 10g. would just like your thoughts. Thanks.
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Old 03-27-2010, 03:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega_Winnfield View Post
Hi jim, Im using a torchmate 3 With a hypertherm 1650. I cut anywhere from 11g to 3/4. I was wondering if you could give me your suggestions for 3/4 plate. Also i am starting to cut out more artwork type of things, and I think im going to use 10g plate. Also ive never used a fine cut tip and im sure that would be better for 10g. would just like your thoughts. Thanks.
Fine cut vs. not



Both cuts were ‘drag’ cuts. One with fine cut consumables and one with regular consumables.

Extreme difference.
Some people like to use them up to 1/4" but I think Jim advices against that... I forget.
Worked fine for me on 1/4", I've seen some use the 1650 w/fine on 3/8 it worked fine but I didn't compare to normal as he only used fine and liked it better.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:31 AM   #17 (permalink)
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For cutting 3/4" with your Powermax1650 (this info is in your Powermax 1650 operators manual) Use 100 Amp consumables, set Amps to 100, cut speed to 26 ipm (you can go up to 46 ipm, 26 will provide better edge quality), set pierce delay to 1.5 seconds, pierce height must be at .200 to .250 inch, set cut height to .125" (adjust arc voltage during the cut to maintain .125" torch to work distance...voltage should be roughly 161 volts depending on calibration of your torch height control).

On 3/4" pay attention to pierce height....one pierce too close, or with too short of a pierce delay- you will destroy the shield and nozzle at this power level.

Use the FineCut consumables on everything under 3/16" for best quality...as above, pay attention to pierce height and cut height and you will be very satisfied with the results.

Best regards, Jim Colt

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vega_Winnfield View Post
Hi jim, Im using a torchmate 3 With a hypertherm 1650. I cut anywhere from 11g to 3/4. I was wondering if you could give me your suggestions for 3/4 plate. Also i am starting to cut out more artwork type of things, and I think im going to use 10g plate. Also ive never used a fine cut tip and im sure that would be better for 10g. would just like your thoughts. Thanks.

Last edited by jimcolt; 03-28-2010 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback. I think my pierce hight was always too low.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:35 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Torchmate,
I sent you a message on this forum 2 weeks ago and still no reply. I have had the hardest time getting through to your Tech dept via email and phone. Had I known that your machine came with this level of customer service, I would have shopped elsewhere.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:47 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Torchmate,
I sent you a message on this forum 2 weeks ago and still no reply. I have had the hardest time getting through to your Tech dept via email and phone. Had I known that your machine came with this level of customer service, I would have shopped elsewhere.
What email you use and what phone number did you call? I have called the support line and had no issue getting threw. Had to wait 10 mins at most but thats it.
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