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Plasma temperature and radial density profiles of the plasma species in a high energy density cutting arc have been obtained by using a quantitative schlieren technique. A Z-type two-mirror schlieren system was used in this research. Due to its great sensibility such technique allows measuring plasma composition and temperature from the arc axis to the surrounding medium by processing the gray-level contrast values of digital schlieren images recorded at the observation plane for a given position of a transverse knife located at the exit focal plane of the system. The technique has provided a good visualization of the plasma flow emerging from the nozzle and its interactions with the surrounding medium and the anode. The obtained temperature values are in good agreement with those values previously obtained by the authors on the same torch using Langmuir probes.