Separating and shaping metal isn’t as simple as picking up a pair of scissors and going to work. After all, if it was as simple as cutting or tearing a piece of metal, the material wouldn’t be so prized for its strength and durability. Fortunately for contractors and homeowners around the world, these days, it seems as though there are as many ways to sever metal as there are different types of metal to be found.
You’re undoubtedly familiar with traditional welding. You might even be familiar with processes like plasma welding, in which an electric arc is used to cut metal. But how familiar are you with flame cutting in Phoenix, AZ?
What is flame cutting
Unlike other forms of cutting, flame cutting harnesses the power of oxygen to separate metal. In a flame cutting setup, acetylene or another type of fuel gas is run through the outer ring of a blowtorch’s nozzle. This heated gas preheats the metal, warming it up and softening it.
The actual cutting is done with pressurized oxygen gas. That’s one reason that flame cutting in Phoenix, AZ is also referred to as oxyfuel cutting. Once the border of the cutting area is prepped, a steady stream of pressurized oxygen is forced through the center of the torch, and the metal is separated neatly along a prescribed axis. Modern flame cutting can be accomplished by hand, or a specific cut can be programmed into a machine that does the heavy lifting for you.
The thicker, the better
It’s important to know when to use the flame cutting process to separate or shape metal. While plasma cutting or traditional welding can be used on several types of metal, some are just too thick or dense. Flame cutting is most often used on very thick metal, like cast iron and carbon steel.
Flame cutting often requires a little bit of work after the process is complete, as well. Known as annealing, this technique is used to shore up the edges of your cut metal to prevent cracking over a long period.
Trust your flame cutting to a pro
There are dozens of uses for flame cutting, whether your needs are residential, commercial or industrial. That said, unlike traditional welding, flame cutting requires a professional’s experience. As powerful as flame cutting can be, if the technique isn’t properly monitored, it can be easy to lose efficiency.
For example, the oxygen used must be as pure as possible. Typically, the oxygen used for flame cutting is kept at 99.5 percent purity. Even a 1 percent drop can reduce the speed of the cutting process by up to 10 percent. Poor connections, worn-out hoses or leaks can contribute to slower cutting as well.
Metal Pro Inc. to the rescue
When you need flame cutting in Phoenix, AZ, look no further than Metal Pro Inc. We have nearly 50 years of combined on-the-job experience that we’re waiting to put to work for you. Give us a call today and let us know how we can help.