Futuristic Metal Cutting for the Masses

Plasma-arc torches are sci-fi made real. And they slice through steel so easily, anyone can use them.

Photographs by Jeff Sciortino (2)

The plasma cutting this spiral is eight times hotter than the Sun, but the heat is so concentrated the string won't burn.Photographs by Jeff Sciortino (2)

Dept.: Gray Matter

Investigator: Theodore Gray

Shop Tech: Plasma-arc torches

Project: Metal spiral

Time: 45 minutes

Element: Hafnium -- Appearance: Exotic and ductile heavy metal with
smooth silvery surface and high corrosion resistance Most common uses: Nuclear control rods, plasma-arc
torches, incandescent lamps and alloys Melting temp: 2,229