Aluminium cutting dangers? Cnc plasma safety?


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Thread: Aluminium cutting dangers? Cnc plasma safety?

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    Default Aluminium cutting dangers? Cnc plasma safety?

    Hi yall,

    I'm fairly new to cnc machines. I heard about the dangers of a,chemical reaction when cutting aluminium on a plasma water table

    My main use of the table is ornamental gate/fence panels. And I be will cutting steel/SS and aluminum quite often. Can somone with experince on this, quide me on the proper and safe way to cut aluminum without the risk of explosion? Will switching material types, ss/alum/ms take allot time to setup?

    Also can somone go over any other dangers and safety tips/precautions.

    Thank you for your time.

    PS- link to safety guidlines are dead. I've checked first b4 posting

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    Default Re: Aluminium cutting dangers? Cnc plasma safety?

    There's a warning on the Torchmate site which talks about an explosion hazard from dissociated hydrogen that can accumulate under a sheet of aluminum as it's being cut: https://torchmate.com/uploads/images...fetyNotice.pdf
    Apparently the hot aluminum has a big affinity for oxygen, and it can grab some away from the H2O molecules, creating free hydrogen. But if you're not doing multiple sheets in a short period of time, it's probably not a huge issue.

    There's also a problem with aluminum-lithium alloys, which can burst into flames when they hit water.

    But in general, I think it's safer than cutting stainless steel, which releases hexavalent chromium. http://www.esabna.com/us/en/educatio...hex-chrome.cfm That's a very nasty, irritating and carcinogenic substance you need to protect yourself from by using a dual-cartridge or air-supplying respirator https://www.red-d-arc.com/pdf/MSA%20...Protection.pdf as well as good ventilation and the proper eye, skin, and hand protection equipment.

    Andrew Werby
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    Default Re: Aluminium cutting dangers? Cnc plasma safety?

    I cut ms/ss/ally all the time on my table ranging from .040" to .5" for almost five years, never had any issue like that.
    all I can say is stick to the plasma cutters manual in reference to amperage, speed, and metal thickness. from there just dial it in how your table likes



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    Quote Originally Posted by lexmotorsports View Post
    I cut ms/ss/ally all the time on my table ranging from .040" to .5" for almost five years, never had any issue like that.
    all I can say is stick to the plasma cutters manual in reference to amperage, speed, and metal thickness. from there just dial it in how your table likes
    Are you using a water table? If so do u lower ur level for aluminium cuts?



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    Default Re: Aluminium cutting dangers? Cnc plasma safety?

    There is a supplement in the back of the Hypertherm manuals (at least in my old Max 100 book)

    Describing a simple compressed air manifold "bubbler" system, to create air bubbles
    in the bottom of the water table, so the hydrogen doesn't pocket under the plate.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Aluminium cutting dangers? Cnc plasma safety?-alinum-bubbler-1-gif  
    Last edited by digger doug; 02-07-2018 at 12:01 PM.


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    Default Re: Aluminium cutting dangers? Cnc plasma safety?

    THe other posters here bring up some good points. The issue regarding AL cutting on a water table is the build up of H2 gas in the table - mostly from the oxidation process of the AL condensate in the table post cutting., as the AL in the table oxidizes it releases H2 gas which can be trapped in bubbles in the table. As the bubbles rise to the surface, they can become trapped under your plate and ignite.
    If you are cutting small parts from thin sheets of AL once a week you don't have too much to worry about.
    On the other hand, if you are cutting AL daily, then the bubbler option proposed by the PP is a very good idea.
    Maybe a better question is:
    What thickness of AL do you plan to cut?
    What current are you cutting at?
    What is the plasma process you are using - N2, H35, Water mist, water injection ......?
    How often are you cutting AL?

    Regarding Stainless cutting,
    Hexavalent chromium IS nasty stuff. (Reference movie and wiki Erin Brockovich) Having cut stainless with H35, N2+H20 and N2 over a water table in thickness ranging from 1/8" to 5", your biggest concern is not so much the airborne hex chromium in the vaporized condensate, but the disposal of the water in the table itself. A few additional notes:
    Don't go swimming in a water table that has consistently had stainless cut on it.
    Don't drink the water out of said same table
    Lower the water in the table before retrieving parts or wear gloves up to your elbows.
    Cut plasma in a well ventilated area and don't huff the fumes.This applies to : MS, AL, SS, Ni, Ti ..............
    Dispose of the heavy metal contaminated water in accordance with local HAZMAT regulations.



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Aluminium cutting dangers? Cnc plasma safety?

Aluminium cutting dangers? Cnc plasma safety?