Is .020 Aluminum sheet too thin? (Solved)

Wondering if anyone has tried to cut .020 Aluminum sheet before? I am trying to make a pretty simple part that I drew and created the code in Sheetcam. The torch keeps turning off and I get the THC warning. The part is just one single contour cut so a single pierce. Issue seems random in where it fails, mostly right at the start - occasionally it makes it half way through.

I am not sure if it is the thin nature of the material, my settings, tidal effects of the moon or if I am just having a bad day:)

Master single late touring.tap (2.9 KB)
Master .dxf (49.3 KB)

Not sure what I did, but I went back out and tried again and everything worked fine.

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Where do you have the work cable clamped? It absolutely needs to be clamped to the material, especially with thin stuff.

Your cut height of .08" is too high and the program speed of 40 IPM is way too slow for metal that thin.

I just cut some .080" aluminum and found that 30 amps at 190 IPM worked well, so for .020" I would probably be somewhere near the max speed of 300 IPM.

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This is already solved but I struggled with thin Aluminum for a bit so I thought I would post the tips I learned along the way. .040 Aluminum… best cuts seemed at 23 amps with regular (not fine) consumables, I used 190 inches per minute but probably could have gone faster, Pierce height of .125 and cut height of .060 but I let Smart Voltage take over the THC (torch height controller) it did a great job. Once you define the perimeter put some scrap strip pieces near the outside of the cut to hold the material down and keep it from warping to help keep your cut height somewhat stable, the aluminum will want to move up, I usually put my grounding clamp on one of these scrap pieces because if you try to put the clamp on the thin aluminum frequently the clamp weight will want to create a buckle in the material, for the scrap I frequently use 10 or 11 ga because thats what I have laying around from other projects its pretty heavy and provides a solid grounding point. Thats all I can think of … I hope it helps.

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One last thing … I used a pierce delay of .3… I have heard of people using “zero” or .1 but Firecontrol would almost always error out saying the torch started moving before the torch fired.

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@AngryRoosterCreation - That is SUPER helpful, thanks so much. I have a bunch of .04 alum coming in tomorrow that I am doing some prototyping on and will report back how it goes.

Good luck! The missing component for me is always air pressure, I use a Harbor Freight Titanium 45 with a PO-60P machine torch from PlasmaDyn… my system works very well but the Titanium 45 has no external air pressure gauge on it so I’m not really sure where it sits pressure wise. One would possibly think that the pressure is the same as at the compressor but since I added a simple 2 stage desiccant air drying system the pressure to the Titanium 45 seems to have dropped (possibly logical). Please be aware that I have only been doing this for about a year, so I am far from an expert, almost everything I put in the above post was advice from this forum or Plasmaspyder, with a little trial and error of my own. Let me know how your cuts come out

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