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Oxyfuel cutting is also referred to as flame cutting, fuel gas cutting and oxygen cutting. It involves heating a metal to its ignition temperature.
In the case of steel, this is achieved by pre-heating a localized area until the metal reaches a bright cherry red at about 1150°C. At this point a jet of cold oxygen is passed through the centre of the cutting nozzle onto the red-hot steel. This causes a chemical reaction between the steel and the oxygen, generating more heat and melting the steel. The steel immediately below the oxygen jet is converted to a metal oxide or slag, and is blown away by the jet.
If the oxygen stream isn’t powerful enough, or the cutting speed is too quick, the slag will solidify in the cut, and a cut will not be achieved. As the torch begins to move, more steel is pre-heated and the oxygen jet burns more of the steel, creating the cut.
Oxygen cutting can be used to separate a wide range of steel types but the composition of the steel may require some other process, such as pre-heating, prior to cutting.
Success factors in oxyfuel cutting include the fuel gas chosen for pre-heating (acetylene, propane or natural gas). The ideal fuel gas will depend on the thickness of the material to be cut, the equipment being used and operator preferences. In many cases, however, acetylene offers speed, quality and economical efficiency over other fuel gases.
We offer the full range of oxyfuel cutting gases. In particular, we can help you maximize the productivity and quality gains of acetylene for your oxyfuel cutting process. Benefits include rapid pre-heating, fast cutting speeds and high quality cuts. Our application experts can also help you optimize your operating parameters for optimum results, providing cost analysis support with the equipment and gas management services you need.