IPT or PTM 40 and 60 swirl ring

So how important is the swirl ring? Do you ever replace it? Does it wear out? Does it affect the cuts?

Lets see if this can help answer some or all of these questions.

It does 5 thing when installed.

#1 Its a spacer between the torch head and the cutting tip
#2 Its a air seal between the torch head and the cutting tip
#3 Its an insulator between the torch head and the cutting tip
#4 It has air holes to swirl the air around the electrode to keep it cool (note: the hafnium in the end of the electrode becomes 3500 to 4000 degrees when cutting)
#5 it has air holes to swirl the air that comes out of your cutting tip to help keep a plasma flame uniform. ( Note: over air pressure will deform the flame )

Now to me the answer to the questions are YES the swirl ring is very important and should not be over looked. It wears out the same as other consumables.

Here is a swirl ring that came from a torch that the person over extended the electrode and was wandering why his plasma cutter was not cutting right.

Note: The difference between a new one and the one that came out of the torch.

So what do you think? Is it time to change that swirl ring out yet?


Very well written and very useful guide, George! Thanks!

One thing I would like (besides eyes able to see the openings) is information on how to tell ‘up’ (Torch cable side) from ‘down’ (torch tip side) on a swirl ring.

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On a lot of plasma cutters the swirl ring can only go in one way so you can’t get it wrong.

On the Trafimet S style and the Tecmo IPT style torch’s the swirl ring can be put in ether way. But I have found out that it seems to work best with it installed with the air spinning to the right ( the same way your electrode screws in ) in most cases.