Major Failure on Torch Head - Torchmate Ultracut 200 cutting 1.5" Mild Steel
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  1. #1
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    Default Major Failure on Torch Head - Torchmate Ultracut 200 cutting 1.5" Mild Steel

    This morning, I was trying to get a piece of 1.5" mild steel dialed in by cutting thin, 1/2" strips. Our machine can cut 1.5" material with a 150A head on an edge start. I finally found a setting that was cutting beautifully (more info below), and I proceeded to cut an entire strip (4 feet long) with the new settings so I had a clean edge

    Much to my surprise, the torch head started glowing, then melting, so I turned everything off. The plasma burned a large gap in the consumable stack (see photo). I not entirely too sure what could have caused this catastrophic failure, but I was wondering if anyone could offer any suggestions. It would be great to not have this happen again!

    Settings are as follows:

    150A Head
    O2 Plasma, Air Shield

    Preflow - 80 psi
    Plasma Ball - 62
    Plasma (psi)- 120 psi
    Shield Ball - 62
    Plasma (psi) - 120 psi

    Arc Voltage - 175
    Cut Height - 0.160"

    Travel Speed - 8 ipm

    I have already purchased a 200A set of consumables that should here before the end of the week that will hopefully run a bit easier.


    150a-torch-head-failure-03.jpg150a-torch-head-failure-02.jpg150a-torch-head-failure-01.jpg150a-torch-head-failure-04.jpg

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    sounds like the air supply was lacking, how is it supplied? was the tank freezing up?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkvidaurre View Post
    This morning, I was trying to get a piece of 1.5" mild steel dialed in by cutting thin, 1/2" strips. Our machine can cut 1.5" material with a 150A head on an edge start. I finally found a setting that was cutting beautifully (more info below), and I proceeded to cut an entire strip (4 feet long) with the new settings so I had a clean edge

    Much to my surprise, the torch head started glowing, then melting, so I turned everything off. The plasma burned a large gap in the consumable stack (see photo). I not entirely too sure what could have caused this catastrophic failure, but I was wondering if anyone could offer any suggestions. It would be great to not have this happen again!

    Settings are as follows:

    150A Head
    O2 Plasma, Air Shield

    Preflow - 80 psi
    Plasma Ball - 62
    Plasma (psi)- 120 psi
    Shield Ball - 62
    Plasma (psi) - 120 psi

    Arc Voltage - 175
    Cut Height - 0.160"

    Travel Speed - 8 ipm

    I have already purchased a 200A set of consumables that should here before the end of the week that will hopefully run a bit easier.


    150a-torch-head-failure-03.jpg150a-torch-head-failure-02.jpg150a-torch-head-failure-01.jpg150a-torch-head-failure-04.jpg
    What make of plasma torch ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    What make of plasma torch ?
    It's a Thermal Dynamics Ultra Cut 200. The torch itself is an XT-300.

  5. Likes digger doug liked this post
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    We have a large air compressor that feeds our entire fabrication area. There's air dryer near the compressor, and also an accumulator and booster pump on the 1" branch that directly feeds our machine.

    I will try and check the connections and valves for the air. That's a good suggestion.

    Could moisture cause something like this to happen? The transient time of year that we are in down here in Florida (a.k.a. going from "less hot" to "more hot, but also humid") could have lent a hand to something like this, perhaps?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkvidaurre View Post
    We have a large air compressor that feeds our entire fabrication area. There is also an air accumulator and booster pump on the line that directly feeds our machine.

    I will try and check the connections and valves for the air. That's a good suggestion.

    Could moisture perhaps cause something like this to happen?
    Why are you boosting ?

    And an accumulator (tank) downstream of the booster might be a good idea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Why are you boosting ?

    And an accumulator (tank) downstream of the booster might be a good idea.
    Our shop air is at 100 psi, and the machine requires 120 psi. The accumulator tank (which is downstream, like you suggested) is about 5 gallons. The compressor we have is pretty rippin' and relatively new--perhaps 3 or 4 years.

    Could a momentary drop in pressure cause this type of meltdown?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkvidaurre View Post
    Our shop air is at 100 psi, and the machine requires 120 psi. The accumulator tank (which is downstream, like you suggested) is about 5 gallons. The compressor we have is pretty rippin' and relatively new--perhaps 3 or 4 years.

    Could a momentary drop in pressure cause this type of meltdown?
    I don't know, it appears your running a multi gas set-up, and oxygen in there.
    Which I have NO experience with.

    I doo have some with those intensifiers, and I would like to see maybe 60-80
    gallons downstream (at 120 psi)
    Also, how dry is the air ?

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    It should be pretty dry. The reason we got this new compressor was because our old compressor had some oil going through the line--good for your air saw, bad for your painters!

    We have the shielding air as I described it, plus a bottle of oxygen for steel and a bottle of nitrogen for stainless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkvidaurre View Post
    It should be pretty dry. The reason we got this new compressor was because our old compressor had some oil going through the line--good for your air saw, bad for your painters!

    We have the shielding air as I described it, plus a bottle of oxygen for steel and a bottle of nitrogen for stainless.
    Sounds like one of the gases dropped in pressure.

    Does you O2 come from a liquid tank ?

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    No, compressed oxygen bottle. We regulate it from the bottle pressure (initially 2000 psi or so) down to 135-140 psi, and then the gas control console to the final pressure & flow for the head size and material.

    Wow! Do folks actually use liquid oxygen for their plasma gas? I've never heard of that. I thought that was mainly for use in the medical field (weight savings and safety, methinks?).

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    Quote Originally Posted by mkvidaurre View Post
    No, compressed oxygen bottle. We regulate it from the bottle pressure (initially 2000 psi or so) down to 135-140 psi, and then the gas control console to the final pressure & flow for the head size and material.

    Wow! Do folks actually use liquid oxygen for their plasma gas? I've never heard of that. I thought that was mainly for use in the medical field (weight savings and safety, methinks?).
    My neighbor had to oxy fuel cut some thick plate, so changed to the small liquid bottle.
    He said the cost was much less than even a 12 pack.

    However, you had a limited time to use it, as it vents off to stay cold.

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    You learn something everyday!

    Our company really only uses the plasma machine a handful or times a year, so I'm guessing we went with the high pressure bottles for their stability. We normally fabricate items for use in the marine industry, so we mainly route aluminum, PVC, plastics.

    Typically our steel jobs are custom gigs that the Bossman finds, so I want to be able to have a good answer for him when the plate he needed for the end of they day is taking a few days!


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