I have some Aluminum in various thicknesses, 1/8", 3/8" if that would help, I also have a piece of 1/2" cold rolled steel I need to cut, looks like that's at the edge of the cutting ability. I'd really like to see how it Aluminum if that's in scope for the class you are proposing.
Pete, once again, you are very gracious and I thank you!
The plasma cutter will cut anything that conducts electricity, although I think some things you could theoretically cut you would not ever want to, such as magnesium or galvanized steel. Everything you mention can be cut by this plasma cutter.
I stopped by yesterday and worked with Jude to set up the cutter and do some test cutting. We cut some plate and 2" boxed tubing: all went very well. Had trouble cutting 1" box, though. I'm thinking the blowback from when you break through narrow tubing with the plasma beam disrupts the plasma reaction, causing the Hypertherm to shut itself off with a failure:airflow indication on the front panel.
But running the compressor on its own 20 amp circuit and the Hypertherm on the wood shop circuit worked AWESOME: I was able to continuously cut even after the compressor kicked in.
The compressor is leaking oil, by the way, which is a sad state of affairs since it is a very heavy-duty compressor and motor with a rather small tank. I have seen this size compressor on HUGE tanks before. I believe it could work well with a tank 5 or even 10 times the size. It would be cool if we could fix the compressor and rig up a new tank 5+ times the size to it. In fact I propose if HF wants to do that I WILL DONATE THE COMPRESSOR to HF
, but only if the compressor is worth repairing.