A Comparison of Flame and Plasma Cutting Machine

Home » Technical Support » A Comparison of Flame and Plasma Cutting Machine

By cutting mode, micro CNC cutting machine can be divided into two categories including flame cutting and plasma cutting. We will make a comparison between the two kinds of machines from the following four aspects.

A. Materials
Plasma cutting machine is fit for metallic conductive materials like low carbon steel, aluminum, and stainless steel. Whilst cutting the low carbon steel by the plasma cutter, the operators will be offered with high speed cutting experience and perfect cutting effect. The flame cutter is designed for metal cutting through combustion or oxidation, so, it is suitable for black (ferrous) metals like steel which can be treated by oxidation technology. If the material being cut is aluminum or stainless steel, the molten material will react with oxygen, which renders the traditional flame cutter ineffective. However, plasma cutter is independent of the oxidation treatment, which enables it effective in cutting aluminum, stainless steel, and other conducting metals. Additionally, many types of gas can be used for plasma cutting. Now, most of people adopt compressed air which can be purchased from many points of sale as the cutting gas. There is no need for flammable gas or compressed oxygen.

B. Cutting Speed
Plasma cutting machine is more expensive than flame cutting machine. But the latter (flame cutter) does not require the power supply and compressed air. So, for some users, it is easier to operate. When cutting the thick part of steel sheet, it is faster than the plasma cutting machine.

C. Cutting Thickness
Generally speaking, it is recommended that flame cutting machine is used to cut over 5mm thick carbon steel plate due to small bevel, and good cutting quality. The maximum cutting thickness is up to 300mm. The plasma cutter is usually used to cut less than 40mm thick metal sheets.

D. Application Range
Flame cutter is mainly applicable for rapid processing of metals such as iron plate, aluminum plate, galvanized sheet, white sheet, etc. Plasma cutter is characterized by high quality, high precision, and strong maneuverability. At the meantime, its cutting accuracy is comparable with laser cutter and it gets price advantage over laser cutter. As a consequence, it is widely used for all walks of life such as auto, shipbuilding, aerospace, industrial machinery, petrochemical facilities, pressure vessel, and more.