Torch catches on slag of pierce

01 Aug 2018 23:02 #115352 by jawneelogik
Weeell, I'm not sure that I'm volunteering to be the Guinea pig on that one. I suffered a catastrophic failure on my first time out of the gate trying to cut 3/4" on my brand spanking new PM85. (Cutting 3/4" steel was the main reason for choosing that machine.)

I had every thing set according to the HT manual and when I hit"go" I was met with an explosion of slag coming up at the shield/nozzle then a rooster tail of sparks coming out the back as the torch started to move forward. It shot up hard against the retaining cap, melting thorugh the shield then the Bakelite/fiberglass tube and after 30 seconds I was about $70 poorer.

Sorry If I'm over dramatizing my experience, but it is definitely NOT something I can afford to do on every cut.

The Ramp Leadin sounds promising, but there is absolutely zero information regarding its functionality in any of the Sheetcam docs, at least none that I can find. Based on what I know right now (nothing) I'm quite reluctant to try it for fear of another blow-up.

I'll be contacting the folks at Sheetcam for more info. If they respond favourably, I promise to share.

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03 Aug 2018 20:27 #115551 by EW_CNC
I'm also using a PM85 and also struggled with the issue. I used to keep a high pierce height and cutting height, which helped but wasn't the total answer. Now I use hyperthermcam for my posting and it has the option to do all the pierces first then it pauses, so you can clean the slag before resuming. Works good for me. I'm not sure if you can do that with Sheetcam. I agree it's no fun ruining a good set of consumables.

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03 Aug 2018 21:56 #115557 by jawneelogik
flamecutter, I went to have a look at the HT software. I didn't find anything called "hyperthermcam." Is this something you purchased recently? What I found were 3 different versions (levels) of ProNest, but they don't publish prices so it would not be easy to make comparison with Sheetcam which is about $160 US.

Sheetcam does not have a built-in mechanism to do a separate pierce operation, but it might be possible by putting the initial pierce on a separate layer/operation. The problem I see with this in general is that by doing a separate pierce you are igniting your torch twice as often as you would normally. Every "torch on" operation will cause some level of wear to consumables, at least, that is what I understand.

I've just had a rather lengthy email conversation with Les Newell at Sheetcam and he provided some detailed information about how the "ramp" and "wiggle" leadins work. I haven't had a chance to test these as a viable solution yet, but they seem like promising alternatives.

I remember somewhere reading about a function called "puddle jump" that was designed to overcome this obstacle. It is apparently built into certain torch height controllers. I'm wondering how difficult it would be to simply write a macro routine to perform some sort of maneuver that would "hop" over the slag pile then continue toward the "start-of-cut-path", etc.

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