[EN]How to cut 150mm thick metal plate?
[EN]Cutting thick metal plates can be a complex challenge. However, for every challenge there is always a solution, which in this case is oxyfuel cutting. But why?
Cutting plate with a high thickness (in this case, more than 50mm) is a common challenge in industries such as:
- Wind towers;
- Heavy metalworking in general.
What solutions should I use?
Due to its characteristics and associated technology, the indicated solution will be to opt for oxyfuel, a technology that has greater thermal delivery than any other process, thus achieving greater perforation.
Oxyfuel is a technique used for several industrial applications, such as:
- Preparation of edges of parts for later welding;
- Cutting of high thickness metal parts that are made of steel or other ferrous materials (ex: carbon steel and wrought iron).
Oxyfuel is a cutting technology with which you can get a good finishing, with cheap consumables, it can cut a wide range of metals. It is the most suitable solution to cut plate from 50mm of thickness and the only one that, generally speaking, can cut metals thicker than 75mm.
How does oxyfuel work?
To use this technology, we always need to use oxygen and the other gas (propane or acetylene gas, for example). An oxygen jet will be emitted and will have a variable pressure between two phases: heating and cutting.
During the heating, the flame has a low pressure of oxygen and a high pressure of propane or acetylene. This allows us to melt the area where we are going to start the cut in that incandescent area of the plate.
We compared this process, in a very simple way, to a stove top. When the flame is very blue, we are not heating it much and we have a flame with little calorific value: we are using little oxygen and a lot of propane. This is what happens in the heating process.
When we enter the cutting part, we turn on the cutting oxygen, increasing its pressure, shooting a jet of oxygen with little propane to start the cut. From there, the propane only serves to keep the heat in the griddle.
What are the advantages of oxyfuel?
- The right choice to cut mild steel plates with thicknesses above 75mm;
- Diversity of solutions on combustible gases;
- Low cost in consumables such as torches, tubes, regulators, etc.;
- It doesn't need generators.
DRAGOm, a Motofil's multi-process cutting machine, can cut plate up to 150mm thickness. Several oxyfuel torches (as well as plasma torches) can be integrated, as well as a drilling station.
On the other hand, oxyfuel should not be used on thinner (less than 6mm) or softer metals (in the case of copper or aluminum), due to the heat it generates, which can easily damage the plate.
In this case, other options should be considered, such as plasma cutting.