Oxy-fuel cutting machines are one of the most impressive solutions on the market, offering a range of benefits that could take your metal-cutting processes to the next level.
There are a number of reasons for this.
Firstly, oxy-fuel cutting machines are incredibly accurate, thanks to a small plasma torch. This allows it to create shapes that other types of cutters could only dream of, which is ideal if you are trying to create delicate shapes with thinner metal.
Despite this accuracy, oxy-fuel metal cutters can also cut through thicker materials than other solutions, making it an incredibly robust all-round machine.
However, although these benefits are compelling, what you need to know is which metals oxy-fuel machines can cut. This will help you decide whether it is the right tool for you or whether you will have to look elsewhere.
Here is everything you need to know about the types of metal an oxy-fuel cutter can be used on.
Before diving into the specific types of metals you can use an oxy-fuel cutter with, it is important to understand how the cutter itself works.
Essentially, oxy-fuel cutters use oxy fuel combustion in the form of an oxygen/fuel gas flame to raise the temperature of the metal to the necessary melting point before a powerful jet is aimed at it.
This high concentration of flame temperatures creates a chemical reaction between the pure oxygen and the metal at a high melting point, allowing you to cut through it efficiently.
Of course, with oxy-fuel cutters, your results will vary depending on the type of fuel gas you use as power generation. The fuels on offer for oxy-fuel combustion are acetylene, propylene, natural gas, or propane. Your choice will usually depend upon your particular requirements, such as the cost, heat output, and the amount of oxygen the tool consumes.
The properties of metals that you use will likely determine which cutting solution is right for you.
Oxy-fuel cutters are most often used to cut ferrous metals and metals that contain some iron, which is a transition metal.
Therefore, it is important to start by examining the periodic table to find metals that have the suitable chemical element. These metals include cut carbon steel, another steel alloy or titanium, as well as metals that form compounds, including those containing small amounts of rare earth metals.
Of course, if you are looking to cut materials with non-ferrous metallic elements, such as cast iron, stainless steel, or aluminium, an oxy-fuel metal cutter is probably not the best option to consider.
What is the difference between plasma and oxy-fuel cutting?
Of course, you are not short of alternatives if you are looking for a metal cutter. Many businesses are now switching to plasma cutters as an alternative to oxy-fuel, which uses an ionised gas that conducts electricity because they have improved their level of accuracy in recent years.
Despite this, it is worth emphasising the benefits of an oxy-fuel cutter. These include the impressive cutting speeds, which tend to be faster than other cutting methods, the depth of material they can cut through, their relative cheapness compared to an equivalent plasma cutter, and their ability to be easily transported, which is ideal if you run a construction company.
If you need a tool that can handle several different tasks, then an oxy-fuel cutter is a good option. This is because you can also use it to solder, heat, gouge, and weld.
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