Flame cutting which is also referred to as oxy-fuel cutting, is a process that uses ignited fuel gases in the form of a torch to cut through materials. Oxygen is mixed with other gases such as acetylene, propane or hydrogen to create extremely high flame temperatures used to cut metals with very high melting points. The oxygen is passed to the material in a single stream and the fuel gas is passed to the material in a ring that surrounds the oxygen. The ignited fuel gas pre-heats the material (often steel) to its combustion point and the oxygen stream is directed into the molten pool at the location to be cut, which is then oxidized and flows out of the material.
Torch or flame cutting can be a manual process using a handheld torch or performed on an automated machine. These machines can be CNC controlled to improve throughput and repeatability.
Our Flame Cutting Process and Approach
At AKI we primarily leverage flame cutting as a preliminary step prior to machining. While we do not have in house flame cutting capabilities we rely on a strong group of partners that we work closely with to compliment our capabilities. Whether you have a need for a small volume of simple parts to high volume or highly complex integrated solutions, we can support your needs.
We can support a variety of materials, from steel to stainless steel to aluminum and more. We cover industries from medical, to energy to defense to instrumentation and robotics and more. Have a current or upcoming project? Have a member of our team contact you to discuss.
Flame Cutting Applications
Flame cutting services are used in a multitude of industries and for a variety of applications. Flame cutting is often used as a first step in the manufacturing process. This process is ideal to quickly and cost effectively rough and shape sizes of a part that will then go into a further machining process. Flame cutting is not a very precise operation, but when finish and dimensional tolerance are not critical or will be machined to size later, this is an ideal technology.
The Advantages of Flame Cutting
Flame cutting is probably the most cost effective of the three described above. In addition because flame cutting can be manual or automated it is very flexible. Manual equipment is portable and can be brought to the point of need. Alternatively, cutting can be done on large machines and done in a more accurate and repeatable process. Flame cutting is ideal for very thick materials, and can be used to cut metals that are multiple feet thick. As explained above, due to the process by which the part is cut, the finish that remains after an oxy-fuel cut is much rougher than other cutting technologies (waterjet, laser).