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 Plasma cutting is a process that is used to cut steel and other metals of different thicknesses (or sometimes other materials) using a plasma torch. In this process, an inert gas (in some units, compressed air) is blown at high speed out of a nozzle; at the same time an electrical arc is formed through that gas from the nozzle to the surface being cut, turning some of that gas to plasma. The plasma is sufficiently hot to melt the metal being cut and moves sufficiently fast to blow molten metal away from the cut. The HF type plasma cutting machines uses a high-frequency, high-voltage spark to ionize the air through the torch head and initiate an arc. These do not require the torch to be in contact with the job material when starting.

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