In 1903, two French engineers stumbled upon a method of combining a superheated flame and a stream of pure oxygen to shape and separate steel. The process came to be known as oxygen-acetylene metal cutting. The marvel of this new technique quickly spread across the world. Today, more than 100 years later, oxygen-acetylene cutting, or flame cutting, is one of the most critical processes in machining and fabrication.
Here’s everything you ever wanted to know about flame cutting in Phoenix, AZ.
How does flame cutting work?
The flame cutting process starts with a source of intense heat. This heat source, referred to as “preheat,” is applied to a metal surface. Once the surface is prepped, a stream of pure oxygen is applied to the heated area. The resulting chemical process burns away the steel.
While there are alternatives to flame cutting today (more on that in a second), flame cutting in Phoenix, AZ is the best option for thicker materials, hands down. In fact, experts suggest that a flame cutter can get through metals more than 100 inches thick. There is one catch, though.
The purest of oxygen
In order for flame cutting to work, a machinist must use oxygen measured at a minimum of 99.5 percent purity. To put that in perspective, the purity of oxygen found in the air we breathe runs about 21 percent. That high level of purity is critical to the speed and efficiency of flame cutting, as well. For example, if the purity level of your oxygen drops just a tenth of a percent, the flame cutting speed slows by as much as 10 percent.
What other types of cutting are there?
As you might suspect, flame cutting is just one of a handful of means by which materials can be cut. Flame cutting is the best choice for thick metals like carbon steel, steel with few impurities and cast iron.
If you want to cut a thinner piece of metal, like aluminum, you should think about plasma cutting. This process uses an electric arc to heat a gas until it transforms into plasma. Additionally, waterjet cutting is perfect for a wide array of materials, including nonmetals.
Still, when the time comes to make your mark on a thicker piece of metal, both plasma and waterjet cutting fall short. Flame cutting is more reliable and more cost effective than either alternative.
Come to your flame cutting experts
If you need flame cutting in Phoenix, AZ, then come to Metal Pro Inc. We have a reputation built on 20 years of unparalleled service. In addition to flame cutting, we also offer plasma cutting, tee rolling, beam rolling, channel tube piping and more. We have a massive selection of tools and machinery designed to bend and mold your metal into whatever style you want.
Our fully-equipped machine shop simply cannot be beat. When you want fantastic service at competitive prices, Metal Pro Inc. is the obvious choice. Contact us today to find out how we can help you. You won’t regret it!