Which fume control design is best for your operation
Water table, Downdraft: When do I need fume extraction?
Plasma cutting creates a fair amount of smoke (fumes) during the cut process. When buying a CNC plasma machine, one of the key features you will need to decide is which fume control design is best for your operation. MaverickCNC plasma tables offer both water table and vented fume extraction options. Each option provides advantages and disadvantages and understanding these will help you pick the right design for your specific application.
Water tables are essentially a tub you to fill with water up to the bottom of the work piece. The water traps the majority of the smoke and cools the molten material being blown out of the bottom of the cut. The cooled material forms small particles and sinks to the bottom of the table. Water tables have a lower initial cost as they do not require any additional fume extraction equipment. One drawback of water tables is the impact to cut quality. Having water up to the workpiece can disrupt the plasma cutting process, causing slight roughness on the cut edge. Cutting above water may also increase the amount of dross on the bottom of the cut edge. These quality issues are minimal yet should be considered when looking at your specific application.
Downdraft table designs use a vacuum process to pull the fumes down from the work piece and out through a duct system. Using a downdraft system provides the best quality as it does not interfere with the plasma cutting process. It also minimizes the mess around the machine often created when cutting above a water table. Cost of downdraft system is higher as it requires a blower (exhaust fan), duct work, and some sort of filtration system. The entire exhaust system must be able to manage hot sparks of metal that will be pulled into it. Downdraft systems require a lot of air flow and the amount of air that is pulled from inside your shop and vented to the outside will work your heating/cooling system a little harder.
Contact the MaverickCNC Sales Team for additional assistance: 888-988-7224