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Old 03-30-2020, 08:14 PM
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Default Plasma Torch thoughts

I have tweaked and fine tuned my settings for the plasma table over the years to try to get the perfect dross free cut.
I began to notice that when the machine is blowing air for tip cool down, sometimes the air would not turn off and I had to shut the air off to get the solenoid valve in the Hypertherm to close.
One day it dawned on me that I run 165psi in the shop, and maybe the air pressure is forcing that solenoid open. I know the machine has a pressure regulator, but the solenoid valve must be first in line. I had a 5 dollar pressure reducer valve I picked up at Horrible Fright when Chris and I were in there, so I plumbed it in and set to 95psi.
Problem solved. No more extended blow down.

Then a funny thing happened. I noticed I could cut faster and cleaner as well. Then I noticed when cutting 3/4" plate that my edge was very square compared to the past.
Today had some cutting to do on #10 ga. plate. My saved pre-set was at 67 inch per minute and I had a perfect cut with no dross at 115 ipm.
I got to thinking about laminar flow again. Maybe the excess pressure was too much for the regular in the machine, and would pass it through. This would affect the airflow forming the plasma jet.

I'm not sure how much help any of this is with a hand held torch, but a nicer cut would be the least of it.
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2020, 08:33 PM
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Sometimes more isn’t necessarily better.

Growing up, with a father that was a mechanic, I had easy access to his compressor. Being a 5hp, two stage, Webster, I think it ran around the 165-170 PSI range.

I quickly learned regulators were a good thing, for spray painting and sandblasting, among other things.


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Old 03-30-2020, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywynd View Post
Sometimes more isn’t necessarily better.

Growing up, with a father that was a mechanic, I had easy access to his compressor. Being a 5hp, two stage, Webster, I think it ran around the 165-170 PSI range.

I quickly learned regulators were a good thing, for spray painting and sandblasting, among other things.


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Also good for air nailer, air drills, etc.
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Old 03-31-2020, 07:32 AM
bunkclimber bunkclimber is offline
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Yes-regulators are good things,my air system runs 175psi and I have to use a regulator for sandblasting,at anything over 80psi,the sand media just turns to dust first pass and doesn't really strip well.
Ive used a lot of different brand regulators but the Grainger house brand seems to do pretty nicely both at home and at work. I have a Grainger 1/4" reg on my plasma teamed up with a matching filter,works great.
Stay safe out there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by greywynd View Post
I quickly learned regulators were a good thing, for spray painting and sandblasting, among other things.
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Gallemeyer Hydraulic Surface Grinder, Pratt Whitney 12x48 Engine Lathe
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bunkclimber View Post
Yes-regulators are good things,my air system runs 175psi and I have to use a regulator for sandblasting,at anything over 80psi,the sand media just turns to dust first pass and doesn't really strip well.
Ive used a lot of different brand regulators but the Grainger house brand seems to do pretty nicely both at home and at work. I have a Grainger 1/4" reg on my plasma teamed up with a matching filter,works great.
Stay safe out there.
I went astray assuming that the regulator in the machine would do the job, and at least in my case it does not. It may be fine at 120psi incoming air but that's it.
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2020, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
I went astray assuming that the regulator in the machine would do the job, and at least in my case it does not. It may be fine at 120psi incoming air but that's it.


I would have thought the same way. Guess it all depends what the construction and quality of that regulator is. What’s the output pressure on the regulator in the plasma? Maybe there’s an issue with that regulator?


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  #7  
Old 03-31-2020, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywynd View Post
I would have thought the same way. Guess it all depends what the construction and quality of that regulator is. What’s the output pressure on the regulator in the plasma? Maybe there’s an issue with that regulator?


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The output from the machine is adjustable from 40 to 75 psi.
I've been searching the net for info on regulators and found this, discussing a two regulator system:
As you choose a higher and higher pressure high pressure propane regulator, the degree of control that the propane regulator valve has over the gas output decreases

Got no idea if this applies, but air is a gas too.
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You got freedom of speech, if you don't say too much.
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Old 03-31-2020, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
The output from the machine is adjustable from 40 to 75 psi.
I've been searching the net for info on regulators and found this, discussing a two regulator system:
As you choose a higher and higher pressure high pressure propane regulator, the degree of control that the propane regulator valve has over the gas output decreases

Got no idea if this applies, but air is a gas too.
Yup, I always scoop up airco 2 stage torch regulators whenever I can, and have them re-built.

FWIW the gas well people knock the well pressure down with a couple of separate regulators. They have a "Big Joe", then a "little Joe", and then a "pancake"
at the house.
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2020, 10:17 PM
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I run my shop at 145. I'll run a pre-reg in front of my plasma now.
Thanks Gerry.
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Old 04-01-2020, 03:02 PM
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I am lucky enough, my compressor has a regulator on the discharge already. Might be worth playing with the input pressure to the plasma cutter.

A bigger issue for me is adequate power. When I built my shop 20 years ago, I couldn't imagine needing more than one 220v low amperage circuit... Now I am 20 years older an only a bit wiser.
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