What Is an Inverter Plasma Cutter?

Jun 5, 2024 | Plasma Cutting Tips

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If you’re in the metal fabrication business, you know the significance of precise and efficient cuts. Is there a better way to achieve that than with a plasma cutter? 

You can use different types of plasma-cutting machines to accomplish precision cuts, and one of them is an inverter plasma cutter. But what is an inverter plasma cutter? 

As your local experts in Hypertherm plasma cutters, we’ll teach you a few things about inverter plasma cutters in this blog post. 

Understanding Inverter Plasma Cutters

The major difference between traditional plasma cutters and their inverter counterparts is the power source. Analog plasma cutting machines use a heavy mains-frequency transformer. They usually require over two kilowatts of power. 

Inverter plasma cutting machines, on the other hand, rectify the mains supply to direct current power. They feed the DC power into a high-frequency inverter between 10 kHz and roughly 200 kHz. 

With higher switching frequencies, you can use smaller transformers which significantly reduces the size and weight of the machine. 

These plasma cutters previously used MOSFET transistors. Today, they mostly use IGBT transistors. The major downside of MOSFETs is that if one of the transistors in a parallel connection activates prematurely, it could cause cascading failure of 25% of the inverter. 

As a more advanced invention, IGTBs aren’t prone to such failure. You’ll often find them in high-current machines where it’s impossible to parallel enough MOSFETs. 

Even though inverter plasma cutters are highly portable and more powerful, some models can’t run on a generator. This is particularly true for those that lack power factor correction. Nonetheless, the internal circuitry in some of the latest models allows them to run on light power generators even without power factor correction.  

The key applications of inverter plasma cutters include:

  • Metal processing
  • Automobile industry
  • Equipment manufacturing

Advantages of Inverter Plasma Cutters

What is an inverter plasma cutter? Is it worth your investment? Yes, thanks to its numerous advantages over traditional cutting techniques. Here are just a few:

Exceptional Cutting Precision

With an inverter plasma cutter, you can make intricate and detailed cuts regardless of the metal thickness. The concentrated plasma torch helps minimize kerf width and heat-affected zone. This preserves the surrounding material’s integrity. 

Reduced Production Time

The inverter plasma cutter’s high cutting speed helps reduce production time and dramatically increase productivity.

Versatility

You can use these machines in various industries. That includes metal fabrication, construction, automotive manufacturing, and shipbuilding. They can cut through various electrically conductive materials, such as:

  • Steel
  • Copper
  • Brass
  • Aluminum 

Cost Effective

Inverter plasma cutters’ high precision and cutting speed translate to minimal wastage. That means optimal material usage and lower production costs. 

These machines also require minimal setup time and you don’t have to preheat the workpiece. This further improves productivity and cost-efficiency. 

Contact Us For More Information

What is an inverter plasma cutter? If you need more information on this question or want to learn about various hypertherm consumables, the experts at Cyrious Metal Works are always happy to help. Call us at 903-345-1841 to schedule a consultation today!