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Plasma Cutter Fuel

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  • Plasma Cutter Fuel

    Hey to all - Just joined the Forums today. Great site and glad to be included. I have a question. I own a Hypertherm 600 and have been using bottled air to keep water out of the machine and torch, but it is starting to get expensive! Does anyone know if by using the M-26 filter in-line with a 5 hp compressor will keep water and condensation out of the Plasma cutter? Thanks to all and any insite to this problem would be greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    CDA for plasma

    First welcome.
    Now on to your questions,
    How much cutting are you doing, what types of material are you cutting.
    There are several ways to “treat” your air supply.
    You are using a 5hp compressor, how big is the tank? Does it run all the time when you cut?
    The reasons I’m asking are;
    Cold air does not hold as much moisture as hot air.
    Example summer time hot and humid, winter time cold and dry.
    So if your compressor is running a lot the air is warm to hot from being compressed. Bigger tank give air time to cool and moisture to seperate, drain the tank often.
    Since you are in the southeast you probably have higher humidity then I do in the SW, you are compressing humid air to start with.
    You can treat your air by first filtering, separating and even refrigerating.
    Cost is the main factor. A simple “toilet paper” style filter will help, next would be a desiccant type drier, this requires changing of media and regenerations (baking).

    Last will be a refrigerant drier, this will cool the air before it is use to lower the dew point temp and separate out the moisture. Watch E-bay new units are 1/3 the price at places like Graingers.
    Upfront cost is higher but long term is cheaper then filters and media replacement.

    So depends on how much you cut, how much you want to spend……….
    But always use CDA, if you want better cut quality and longer consumable life.
    Hope this helps.


    • #3
      plasma fuel

      Thanx for the welcome sstec...glad to be here and I appreciate your getting back to me. Right now I am just using bottled air from my welding supplier, but have been considering getting a 5hp compressor, filter and refridg/dryer. It does get pretty hot and humid here in the summer, so keeping the air cool and dry is important to me. I primarily am cutting stainless steel and bronze...not much more than 1/4" to 3/8". Sometimes I cut bigger steel but it is only infrequently. I was thinking about getting a 5hp compressor with an 80 gallon tank running at about 18 or 19 cfm @90lbs. That would run my plasma as well as my mini die grinder.

      Thanx for your help sstec!


      • #4
        Plama fuel - how expensive is it?

        Hello all....great forum you have here....How much does it cost to run a ESAB 875 plasma cutter off bottled air? I have a 6.4 SCFM air compressor that does a good job, but it is loud. Usually I weld after young family is sleeping. Any suggestions, or advice?


        • #5

          Tank your air during the waking hours.
          Of coarse the higher the pressure the more volume you will have to cut with.
          You can buy CDA or N2 from most welding supply houses.
          So take your CFM of your plasma cutter divide the CF of the bottle this should give you cut time, then divide that by cost and you will have your cost per minute of cutting.