Flame Cutting Service

Flame cutting is one of the methods, alongside waterjet cutting, for very thick materials. It is ideal for the conditions where plasma cutting cannot perform any more, which is also its main advantage.

Learn about our capabilities and suitable materials for cutting below.

Capabilities

Maximum material thickness
Maximum material thickness
Carbon steel ≤150 mm
Cutting area
Cutting area Up to 3000 x 12000 mm

How to Order?

While our bending and laser cutting quotes are automated on the platform, flame cutting still needs manual reviewing.

If you are looking to get some thick metal parts manufactured, send us a request for quote or upload your CAD files to the platform and our engineers will contact you in 48 hours.

Delivery in South Africa

We deliver your parts straight to your selected address all over South Africa. Fractory takes care of transportation, so you can focus on engineering.

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Our Manufacturing

Fractory’s manufacturing partners use CNC machines which have flame cutting torches. Using gas cutting technology we can cut steel plates with a thickness of 10…150 mm. All oxy-fuel cutting is in accordance with quality classification EN ISO 9013.

Although it is usually advisable to turn to plasma cutting when facing thick materials, flame cutting services are essential for thicknesses over 50 mm. It is important to note that oxy-fuel cutting involves the oxidisation process. Therefore, it limits the possibilities of the method to ferrous metals only.

What is Flame Cutting?

Oxy acetylene cutting is known by many names, such as oxy cutting, oxy-fuel cutting or flame cutting. It is a process where fuel gases and pure oxygen are used for cutting.

Flame cutting uses pre-heating. First, the flame heats up a spot on the metal. Then a high-pressure stream of pure oxygen is directed towards this spot. Hitting the heated spot ignites the oxygen which, in turn, cuts the metal. The cutting flame temperatures rise up to 3500°C.

The cutting torch usually has a central hole and some more placed around it. The holes around the central jet are for guiding oxygen and acetylene onto the workpiece to preheat it. The central jet is for oxygen only – it provides the final cutting gas.

Flame cutting is excellent for cutting steel. The reason why it only works well with steel is related to the chemical reactions taking place. When the metal melts, it combines with oxide to form iron oxide. This makes the cut possible.

Therefore, it is a good option when working with ferrous metals but is pretty much unusable with aluminium or even stainless steel. Aluminium oxide has a higher melting temperature than iron oxide. This is why it is not used there. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is actually used for those non-oxidising qualities, making these metals also unsuitable.

For these reasons, it is necessary to find an alternative when thick plates from materials other than carbon steel need cutting. One possibility is waterjet cutting.

Advantages of Oxy-Acetylene Cutting

  • Cuts thick materials – This is by far the biggest advantage of using a flame cutting service. It enables the cutting of steel plates up to a thickness of 150 mm.
  • Portability – It does not require primary power, nor compressed air. Therefore, it is easily portable. The 15 kg set lets you cut metal pretty much anywhere, making it a solution for on-site welding and cutting jobs.
  • Cutting speed – One of the advantages of the oxy acetylene cutting service is its quickness. It’s especially evident for steel plates with a thickness of over 30 mm. Although plasma cutting is also considered a speedy option, oxy cutting edges it with bigger thicknesses and the gap widens further with the increase of dimensions.
  • Variety of operations – Oxy-fuel torches are not suitable only for a cutting process. Some of the other executable operations include welding of ferrous metals, heat treating, heat shaping, riser cutting and brazing.

Oxyfuel Cutting FAQ

What fuel gases do you use?

Our manufacturing partners are primarily using acetylene but other gases like propylene and propane are also available.

What role does oxygen play in the cutting process?

Oxygen and fuel gas are combined in order to provide the necessary elements for heating the metal.

The cutting head has several holes where the gases flow out of. First, a combination of oxygen and a fuel gas comes out of the surrounding holes to preheat the metal.

Then, an oxygen jet is directed onto the work piece via a central oxygen valve. The metal oxidises and the pressurised jet blows away the slag.

How big is the heat affected zone?

The heat affected zone depends on the fuel gas and cutting speed. Still, compared to other thermal cutting methods, the area is larger.

What is the quality?

The angular deviation of the cut is actually smaller when comparing it to plasma cutting for example. At the same time, the edge is rougher and may need post-treatment, depending on the quality requirements.

What are the material requirements?

Oxy fuel cutting is only available for ferrous metals. Low carbon steels make up the bulk of the work but wrought iron is also suitable.

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