Metal Cutting: Technological Process, Different Types

Metal cutting is a technological process, the purpose of which is to divide metal into parts and blanks, or to production parts of specified shapes and sizes. Lathes, guillotines, milling machines, laser machines, cutting machines, drilling presses and other special cutting equipment use various metal cutting technologies and an array of tools to perform the task at hand (for example things like industrial cutting fluids).

Today, there are many ways to cut metal, divided according to the principle of cutting and equipment used. We will tell about each of them in more detail. The mechanical methods of cutting metal include: cutting a metal with a guillotine, cutting with a circular saw, band-cutting and water-jet cutting. All mechanical methods allow metal to be cut only in a straight line, which is the main disadvantage of these metalworking technologies.

Guillotine cutting involves the use of special knives and scissors. Both longitudinal, and cross-cutting can be applied. The advantages of this method include very high productivity, low cost and high cutting accuracy. However, when cutting with a guillotine, it is not always possible to manufacture parts of a complex configuration, which limits the scope of applying of this method. Bandsaw cutting is done on a special machine. Using this method, high-quality cutting of steel bars, rebar, etc. The main advantages are the thin cut fineness and the highest quality of its edges, as well as the possibility of cutting metals and alloys virtually.

The methods of thermal metal cutting include laser, plasma and gas-oxygen methods. Laser cutting is performed using a laser resonator, creating a beam of light with a strictly defined wavelength. This beam of light is directed to a small area and melts the metal in a localized area. Laser cutting allows you to cut out parts of any degree of complexity, while ensuring high precision and perfect cut quality. The method can be used to cut most metals and alloys (except stainless steel, aluminum and aluminum alloys).

Plasma cutting is performed using a plasmatron that generates a compressed cutting arc. The method is perfect for cutting any steel, non-ferrous metal alloys, bimetals, titanium, cast iron, etc. High versatility, impeccable quality, flexibility and cutting speed make this technology the most popular today in various industries.

The technology of oxy-fuel cutting is based on the property of metals, when heated to temperatures above 1900 F, to burn in pure oxygen. The metal is cut with a directed oxygen jet, which burns it along the line of the cut. The advantages of the method include the ability to process metal of great thickness (up to 2 m). Finally, the method of waterjet metal cutting is quite common. In its use, a jet of water compressed under pressure with an admixture of abrasives acts as a cutting element, allowing it to destroy the material at the molecular level. With this method, parts of a complicated configuration can be produced. In contrast to thermal methods, when using waterjet cutting, the physicomechanical properties of the metal do not change; the melting, deformation and welding of the edges are excluded.