Flame cutting, also known as oxyfuel cutting or oxy-acetylene cutting, is a process that has been around for over 100 years. First invented by Thomas Fletcher in 1901, this process was used to crack safes. Today’s applications of this form of steel cutting are varied.
What are the benefits of using flame cutting?
Flame cutting is one of the most used cutting techniques for metal fabrication as the equipment has a relatively low cost and it can be used to cut, weld, and heat steel. Other benefits of the process include its ability to cut a broad range of metal thicknesses from 1 millimetre up to 1000 millimetres, and it is portable so that it can be used in a number of different locations, not just in a workshop.
How is flame cutting performance increased?
The choice of fuel type and nozzle selection make the flame cutting process faster, which, in turn, reduces labour costs. While the oxygen jet determines the speed of a cut, the gas used in pre-heating also influences the initiation time of any cutting.
In most flame cutting applications, oxygen will be mixed with a fuel gas – methane, MAPP propylene, acetylene or propane – that pre-heats the metal to an ignition temperature. This temperature needs to be below the metal’s melting point, but hot enough to cut the metal. Pure oxygen is then jetted over the preheated area so it burns through the metal. The speed of the oxygen flame then removes any molten metal and slag.
The choice of gas used in the process depends on whether the operation is manual or mechanised, on the type of work carried out, and on the material type. For instance, acetylene has a flame temperature of 3160 degrees Celsius, making it ideal for thin sheet and bevel cutting. However, this gas costs more than other gases and does not generate much heat, so it is not suitable for the cutting of larger metal plates.
ShapeCUT flame cutting
Are you looking for a quality flame cutter? Then contact ShapeCUT on 1800 742 732. We have been cutting steel for over 20 years with precision, reliability and speed.