Plasma Processes of Cutting and Welding
BETHLEHEM STEEL CO PA
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This report analyzes the latest developments in plasma arc cutting, welding and shape cutting machines with emphasis on their application in the shipbuilding industry. Plasma welding is found to have advantages over other welding processes for only a few shipyard requirements. Plasma cutting, on the other hand, is shown to be ideally suited for the productivity, quality and operating cost necessary in modern shipbuilding. A brief introduction to plasma processes is provided by a discussion of their theory, history, and variant forms. Guidelines for matching plasma processes with applications are presented. The choice between plasma and oxy-fuel cutting processes is analyzed in detail cost-per-foot comparisons are made with high-speed oxy-acetylene and standard natural gas nozzles. Plasma is shown to have a significant economic advantage for high duty-cycle cutting of mild steel up to 1.5 inches thick. A summary is presented of past and probable future developments in high-speed shape cutting machines. Modern machines allow the full economic advantage of plasma cutting to be realized. An efficient material handling system is also required to achieve maximum productivity. Future technology is aimed at increased sophistication of machine control for even greater productivity per man-hour. The final section describes an investigation of dross formation in plasma cutting of mild steel.
- Fabrication Metallurgy
- Plasma Physics and Magnetohydrodynamics