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Frequently Asked Questions

Plasma Cutting Gases

Jun 2, 2020, 15:35 PM
Title : Plasma Cutting Gases

With a commitment to increased productivity, Praxair offers our customers high-quality welding and cutting products under the ProStar brand name. Every ProStar product is carefully selected based on quality and technological innovations from top-name manufacturers. Praxair is dedicated to ensuring ProStar brand products continually improve as technology advances, and that our customers receive the best possible value for their money.

From gas equipment to arc accessories to filler metals to welding products … The ProStar brand means you’re purchasing quality fabrication products.

Compressed air, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen and oxygen, or blends of two or three of these components are the most popular plasma gases for plasma cutting.

Choosing the right gas or combination in a blended gas depends upon the metal being cut, the equipment used and the desired performance in the cutting process.

For materials up to one half inch, compressed air works relatively well at a very low cost. When cutting thicker materials, metal chemistry and thickness require a specific choice of plasma gas to ensure optimum performance.

Color changes are a result of the chemical reaction between the metal and the plasma gas that is used.

Plasma Gas Selection Guide

Plasma Gas Shield Gas Mild Steel Stainless Steel Aluminum
Air Air Good cut quality Economical Good cut quality and speed Economical Good cut quality and speed Economical
Oxygen Air Excellent cut quality and speed Very little dross Not recommended Not recommended
Nitrogen Carbon Dioxide Fair cut quality Some dross Excellent parts life Good cut quality Excellent parts life Excellent cut quality Excellent parts life
Nitrogen Air Fair cut quality Some dross Excellent parts life Good cut quality Excellent parts life Good cut quality Excellent parts life
Nitrogen Water Fair cut quality Some dross Excellent parts life Excellent cut quality Excellent parts life Excellent cut quality Excellent parts life
Argon Hydrogen Nitrogen Not recommended Excellent on thicknesses above 1/2" Excellent on thicknesses above 1/2"
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