Cutting Metals Overview

When we talk about cutting and welding processes this usually refers to as work that is done with very hot flames. It is usually done by machine shops, construction and small laboratory type situations like torch soldering or blowing glass.

This is a dangerous area of welding because it creates fumes, sparks and gases and you have to be careful of hot metal. Cutting is done with special cutting equipment that can be lasers, plasma cutters or some welding torches; acetylene torches work well for cutting depending on the material that needs to be cut.

There are several different types of cutting metals:

Carbon Arc cutting — metals that are cut in this way use the heat of the carbon arc to melt them. The metal that is molten is then hit with a blast of air to remove it. The gas jet will be independent and outside the electric arc. Usually a welding machine is used to do this and it has to have current that is constant. There is an electrode holder that is specifically designed for this type of cutting and it has all the necessary pieces that are needed to do this cutting including a circular grip head, air jets and the compressed air.

Oxyfuel Cutting — this is a type of cutting that uses an acetylene torch that brings together acetylene and oxygen to form the cuts. The difference between this torch and a cnc turning china regular acetylene one is that the cutting torch has another tube for a higher pressured oxygen in addition to the oxygen and acetylene that is already there. It also has a tip with a center hole that allows a jet of the pure oxygen to pass through the torch, which preheats flames.

Plasma cutting — this method actually uses a plasma arc to melt the metal. This method also uses a high flow of hot ionized gas. There are actually three ways for cutting with plasma that include a low current, high current or a current with water added to it. Plasma cutting allows a more precise cut than some of the other cutting methods. Modifications in plasma cutters have been created to allow oxygen to also be used in cutting steel.

When metal has to be cut it will consisted of using a machine of some type to remove metal. Machines like drill presses, lathes or milling machines will also do some of the cutting. In order to successfully cut metal it is necessary to know how the materials the welder is cutting works.

It is important to note that you must take more safety precautions when using cutting machines because they are so quick to cut. They perform a high heat operation and sometimes there can be more sparks generated and the metal is always hot.

Any machine or welding torch that sends out hot metal and sparks can cause fires and can create problems if the hot metal lands on the skin. It can also cause problems of an arc flash if proper safety equipment isn’t used.

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