Our plasma generators need two utilities in order to run; electricity and air.
In order to achieve maximum life and maximum performance for a plasma system, the air supply must be free of dirt particles as well as oil and water. The air supply needs to be filtered to a level equal or less than 0.3um. This can be readily accomplished using a three stage filter system.
Particulate suspended in the air will act like sandblasting to the jet nozzle causing excessive wear.
Water, in its liquid form, not humidity, will cause thermal shock which will damage the ceramic insulator in the jet. The air does not have to be dried, but, as mentioned, it cannot have liquid water present in it.
Any oil in the air supply will have seriously negative, and possibly dangerous, results. Introducing highly atomized oil into an arc may result in ignition of the oil within the jet. This could result in a fire which would quickly spread to the entire work cell. In the event that the oil does not ignite, you still have the problem of trying to clean and activate a surface that you are now coating with oil.
So by keeping the air supply to the plasma system clean, you can extend the life of your plasma jets and help ensure the proper results from the plasma treatment.
Till next time,