Oxy-Fuel Cutting Machines
Information on Oxy-Fuel Cutting and How it Works
Oxy fuel cutting is a process which has been around for over 100 years. However, it’s still widely utilized today, and it’s still a very important aspect and technology of many industries. In this quick guide, you’ll learn more about oxy-fuel cutting, what it is, how it works and how it compares to other cutting technologies.
What is Oxy Fuel and How Does it Work?
Oxy fuel cutting use a combination of fuel gases and oxygen to cut metals. A variety of different fuels may be utilized, although the most common is acetylene. Other gases utilized include natural gas, propane, hydrogen, propylene, liquified petroleum gas (LPG), and combinations of these gases.
Oxy-fuel cutting begins by using a torch to heat a metal to its kindling temperature. This is the lowest temperature at which the metal in question will spontaneously ignite. At this point, a stream of oxygen is trained onto the metal, in turn burning it into a metal oxide.
This new metal oxide then flows out and away from the intact material being utilized. Any leftover slag can be wiped or tapped away. It’s actually the heat produced by the metal oxide and its contact with the rest of the material which actively continues the cutting process. The torch itself only heats the metal to begin the process.
Comparing Oxy Fuel to Other Methods
Popular alternatives to oxy-fuel cutting include plasma cutting and water jet cutting. With plasma cutting, the plasma torch blows an inert gas at high speeds and through an electrical arc, turning some of the gas into plasma and providing the means for cutting.
With a water jet cutter, a mixture of water and abrasive is utilized to cut the metal. This method provides no heat or heat affected zone as one of its key benefits.
However, each specific method works better depending on materials utilized, specific needs for cutting and applications, and other circumstances and specifications.
Versatility from Machines which do Both
Today, the need to choose between oxy fuel and plasma cutting can be in some ways eliminated. That’s because many of the leading CNC cutting machines and CNC cutters provide apparatus to perform both operations.
This provides a great convenience to most businesses, as they are able to cut down on overhead and cost for purchasing different types of equipment, and are able to reduce their usage of physical space and other resources. They’re able to tackle a full range of jobs which could call for either or both of these different systems, all conveniently from the same place.
Having a machine which can provide both oxy-fuel and plasma cutting improves their overall capabilities, as well as efficiency, productivity and profitability, and it is therefore sometimes a key trait and deciding factor when comparing different types of cutting systems and CNC machines.
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