Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    28
    Post Thanks / Like

    Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    Just picked up a PowerMax 45 plasma cutter and I need to purchase an air compressor to go along with it. I don't think these things need a lot of CFM pressure ... but do they need big tanks?

    I don't want a big 80 gallon standing unit ... but I'm wrestling for the ideal size ... a little 3 gallon Husky ... a 6 gallon pancake ... a 12 gallon Husky or one of the bigger 30 gallon Sears or Husky Pro models?

    I'm looking for decent quality (ie: I don't want to buy another one in a year) but at the same time, I'm afraid that a bigger one would just sit around most of the time until I needed to cut something. Maybe I would use it for grinding or other stuff ... I'm just not sure since I don't have one yet.

    Just looking for opinions on what you bought - and after a few months, what you wished you bought. And, if I got a bigger 30 gallon unit, would I want to drain it each weekend or leave it open during the week if I'm not using it. Are those things meant to just sit in the corner fully pressurized until you need the air?

    Thanks,
    -Luther

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    San Luis Obispo, CA
    Posts
    1,257
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    The machine calls for 6 cfm. You will need to get a compressor that can produce at least 6 cfm at 80 psi. Or get one with a tank large enough to supply 6 cfm at 80 psi long enough to finish the cut. The small portable units will work but for only a short time before the air pressure drops.

    I have a hitachi compressor I use for nail guns and it claims to put out 3.0 cfm and has a 4 gallon tank. It will supply my powermax380 for about 15 seconds before I have to stop and wait for it. I also have a 10 cfm 60 gal. devilbiss, it will supply the plasma for about 30 seconds before it runs and then run continuously as long as i run the plasma, I have never had to stop and wait for it.
    Ian Tanner

    Kawasaki KX450 and many other fine tools

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Cave Creek AZ
    Posts
    3,298
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    The 3.5HP (taken with a grain of salt) compressors with a 30 gallon tank worked fine with mine for years. Get a belt drive unit not a direct drive

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    3,431
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    The FM says you need 6 cfm @90 psi, so that pretty much rules out any of the 120V air compressors (unless you are doing very limited and short-length cuts, where you are just relying on the stored air from the tank and then have to wait for the motor and pump to refill said air tank before you can cut any more).

    You pretty much need a 240V air compressor to supply > 6 cfm @ 90 psi. (unless you are running an engine-driven air compressor). So you'll need an appropriate 240V line to run the plasma cutter and another appropriate 240V line to run the air compressor.

    As to air in the tank, you already paid to compress that air (electricity/fuel and wear-n-tear) so why would you 'throw it out'? Just 'blip' the tank drain (or have an auto-drain) to get (most of) the water out of the bottom of the tank.

    Freezing/winter weather requires that you make sure that there is no water to freeze in the drain pipe/valve (else the freezing and thus expanding water splits/breaks the valve/pipe). BTDT.
    The best laid schemes ... Gang oft agley ...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    28
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    Thanks ... that all helps. Will likely get a 30 gallon for short cuts for the time being - but understand that I need another 240V circuit and a bigger compressor for any significant amount of work.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,337
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    There are tons of slightly used compressors to be found on Craigslist.....at decent prices. And, thanks for buying that Powermax45....you will like it!

    Jim Colt Hypertherm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Amarillo tx
    Posts
    1
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    Would 5.5 cfm at 90psi work? I'm getting ready to buy a plasma but my compressor is just that, 5.5 @ 90

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,337
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    It will work until the pressure gets below the minimum pressure that the plasma systems internal pressure switch will allow it to operate at. A Powermax45 uses 6 cfm @ 90 psi......your compressor produces less air than the plasma will use.

    It will cut for a period of time....then when the pressure is too low the plasma will shut down....and you will have towait for the compressor to run for a while and build pressure back up.

    Jim Colt Hypertherm



    Quote Originally Posted by Chancefield View Post
    Would 5.5 cfm at 90psi work? I'm getting ready to buy a plasma but my compressor is just that, 5.5 @ 90

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    NJ, USA
    Posts
    3,431
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    Quote Originally Posted by Chancefield View Post
    Would 5.5 cfm at 90psi work? I'm getting ready to buy a plasma but my compressor is just that, 5.5 @ 90
    5.5 cfm @ 90 psi would work if the air demand of the plasma cutter is LESS than that air delivery amount.

    Otherwise you will be waiting for the air compressor to refill before you can make more/another cut with the plasma cutter.

    5.5 cfm @ 90 psi will supply enough air to run a Hypertherm PM30 but NOT a PM45.

    So, RTFM of the plasma cutter you are considering and then make sure the 'infrastructure' (the air supply and the power supply aka wiring/outlet) can support THAT plasma cutter.

    Trust me, waiting on the air compressor to refill before you can continue working is NOT what you really want to do. It is a real drag to be waiting on a machine.

    Get the right tool(s) to do the job.

    And without going to 'extremes', almost no one every says 'Gee, I bought too big of an air compressor and should have just tried to cheap-out with some little POS.'
    The best laid schemes ... Gang oft agley ...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    chico ca
    Posts
    708
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    no one has mentioned that with the small air pump and small tank running hard that you will also be producing a lot of water due to condensation so even though you drain your tank constantly you will also need to have a good moisture separator at the tank plus at least a motor guard filter on the back of the 45 to save cutting tips. this is a case where bigger is definitely better.
    225NT bobcat
    AEAD200LE
    Scott 125
    mm175, mm252 w 30A, PT225
    mm211, TA 181i
    Hyper Therm 380, cut master 52
    9100X & XX, Digital Elite
    6 Victor sets
    smith little torch, meco midget
    kalamazoo band saw
    steel max saw
    evoulution circular saw

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Vegas Baby
    Posts
    427
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    I've got a Powermax 30 with a CH 60 gal/3.5 hp compressor. For short cuts it will use the thank for quite a while. For longer cuts, a foot or more it will pretty much run most of the time until I give it a rest. I've never had either the compressor or cutter stop because of not enough air regardless of the duty cycle I've put it through.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    949
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: Compressors for Hypertherm PowerMax45

    Quote Originally Posted by LutherBaker View Post
    I'm looking for decent quality (ie: I don't want to buy another one in a year) but at the same time, I'm afraid that a bigger one would just sit around most of the time until I needed to cut something.
    Quote Originally Posted by LutherBaker View Post
    Will likely get a 30 gallon for short cuts for the time being - but understand that I need another 240V circuit and a bigger compressor for any significant amount of work.
    I'm confused.

    Your second post contradicts what you said in your first post.

    Don't two compressors cost more than one? Don't two compressors take up more room than one?

    Why not buy one compressor that suits your needs?

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Page generated in 1,632,084,465.83148 seconds with 13 queries