This sample of a 2" (50mm) part shows the virtually dross-free cutting capability of the HyPerformance HPR400XD.
The plasma process uses a high-temperature, electrically-charged gas to melt the metal and blow the molten material away from the cut. Oxyfuel creates a chemical reaction between the oxygen and the steel, creating iron oxide slag or dross. Due to the differences in the process, less dross forms during plasma cutting, and the dross that does adhere is easier to remove. It generally can be easily knocked off rather than needing to be ground down or chiseled off, which significantly reduces the time needed for secondary operations. Less grinding results in more production.
Regardless of process, the faster the torch moves, the smaller the heat-affected zone is. Therefore, plasma's faster cut speeds produce a smaller heat-affected zone that requires less time spent on secondary operations to remove.
The heat tint may also be a concern for some oxyfuel users. Unlike HAZ, which can't be seen, heat tint shows as a discoloration of the metal. Again, plasma's faster cut speeds result in a smaller heat tint area. These pictures show the difference between two identical pieces of mild steel – one cut with plasma and the other with oxyfuel. The slower speed needed to complete the cut with oxyfuel resulted in a heat tint area that is 5 times the size of the heat tint on the piece cut with plasma.