Related CNC Machines For Sale
Table of Contents
There are many ways to cut steel plates, some of which are suitable for automatic execution, while some are not. Some are suitable for cutting thin steel plates, and some are suitable for cutting thick steel plates. Some cutting speeds are fast, some cutting speeds are slow. Some are low-cost, some are high-cost. Some have high accuracy, some have low accuracy. This article will briefly introduce the four main methods used to cut steel plates, and their corresponding steel cutting machine. compare the advantages and disadvantages of various processes, and provide some criteria that can be used to determine which process is best for your application.
1.Oxygen/gas cutting--oxygen Steel Cutter Machine
This oxygen steel cutter machine is a cheap steel cutting machine. Oxygen-gas torch cutting or flame cutting is by far the oldest cutting process available for medium carbon steel. People usually regard it as a simple process, and the equipment and consumables used are relatively inexpensive. The oxygen-gas cutting torch can cut very thick steel plates, mainly limited by the amount of oxygen that can be delivered. It is not unheard of to use an oxygen-gas cutting torch to cut 36 or even 48 inch thick steel plates. However, as far as steel plate forming and cutting are concerned, most of the operations are performed on steel plates with a thickness of at most 12 inches.
After proper adjustment, the oxygen steel cutter machine can achieve a smooth surface for vertical cutting. There is almost no slag on the lower edge, and the top edge is slightly rounded only because of the preheating flame. This surface is ideal for many applications that do not require further treatment.
Although the oxygen-gas steel cutter machine is suitable for steel plates with a thickness of more than 1 inch, the applicable steel plate thickness can be as low as about 1/4 inch, but there are certain difficulties. This process is relatively slow, up to about 20 inches per minute on 1 inch of material. Another advantage of oxygen-gas cutting is that multiple torches can be used for easy cutting at the same time, thereby realizing a multiplier of productivity.
2.Plasma cutting-plasma steel cutting machine
Plasma arc cutting is an ideal process for cutting medium carbon steel plates. Its cutting speed is much higher than that of oxygen-gas cutting, but it will sacrifice some edge quality. This is exactly where the plasma steel cutting machine is difficult to handle. The edge quality depends on the optimal position of the cutting current, and its range is usually between about 1/4 inch and 1.5 inch. In general, when the steel plate is indeed very thin or thick (beyond the range mentioned above), although the edge smoothness and slagging performance may still be quite good, the edge verticality will begin to suffer.
Compared with oxygen steel cutter machine, the plasma steel cutting machinery is more expensive, because a complete system requires power supply, water cooler (for systems exceeding about 100 amperes), gas control device, cutting torch wire, connecting hose &Cable and torch itself. However, the increased productivity of the plasma steel cutter machine compared to the oxygen-gas steel cutting machine can quickly compensate for the system cost.
Multiple torches can be used to perform plasma cutting at the same time, but additional cost factors usually limit this to two torches. However, some customers do choose to configure as many as three or four plasma systems on a machine, but these customers are usually high-end manufacturers who cut a large number of the same parts to meet the needs of the production line.BuyCNC can Provide high quality Plasma Steel Cutter Machine for you.
3.Fiber Laser Cutting-Laser Steel Cutter
The fiber laser steel cutter machine is suitable for cutting medium carbon steel from the minimum calibrated thickness to about 1.25 inches. Beyond the range of 1 inch, all factors such as material (laser-grade steel), gas purity, nozzle conditions, and laser beam quality must be correct to achieve reliable operation.
This laser steel cutter is not very fast, because fundamentally speaking, the laser is only a focused laser beam (not a preheated flame) applied to the combustion process of medium carbon steel with extreme high temperature. Therefore, its speed is limited by the speed of the chemical reaction between iron and oxygen. However, the precision of the laser process is extremely high. Since a very narrow incision width can be formed, contours and small holes with high precision can be cut. The edge quality is usually quite satisfactory, with very small fine teeth and delay lines, very square edges and little or no dross.
Another major advantage of The Laser Steel Cutter is reliability. The service life of consumables is very long and the degree of mechanical automation is very high, so many laser cutting operations can be carried out in an “unattended” state. Imagine that you load 1/2″ steel plate of 10′ x 40′ on the workbench, press the “Start” button, and then go home at night. After you come back in the morning, hundreds of parts will be cut and waiting for your Charge.BuyCNC will provide many fiber laser steel cutter for you.
4. Water jet Steel Cutting Machinery
The waterjet steel cutting machine can also cut steel plates well, achieving smooth and high-precision cutting results. The accuracy of water jet cutting is higher than that of laser cutting because of the better edge smoothness and no thermal deformation. In addition, the thickness limitation of water jet and laser and plasma cutting is different. The actual limit of this waterjet steel cutting machine is about 6 to 8 inches, based on the cutting time of the thickness and the deviation trend of the water flow.
The weakness of The waterjet steel cutter machine lies in operating costs. Due to the high cost of booster pumps, the initial equipment cost is usually slightly higher than that of plasma cutting, but not as high as laser cutting. But mainly because the cost of the garnet abrasive for cutting is higher, the hourly cost of running the water jet is much higher.
In addition, this waterjet steel cuttting machinery is also suitable for multi-head cutting, and a single booster pump can even accomplish this job. But every time a cutting head is added, the water flow needs to be increased, which in turn requires a larger pump or a smaller orifice.BuyCNC has the water jet cutting machine for sale.
How To Choose The Steel Cutter Machine
1. First consider the thickness:
When it is less than 0.080″, use the fiber laser steel cutter machine.
When it is less than 0.125″, use plasma steel cutting machine or laser steel cutter.
When it is less than 0.250″, use waterjet steel cutting machine, plasma steel cutting machine or laser steel cutter.
When it exceeds 8″, an oxygen steel cutter machine is used.
2. Consider accuracy and edge quality requirements:
Can you accept the edge quality of the plasma process? When using plasma cutting, most structures made of steel plates can achieve ideal welding results.
Can the heat-affected zone of oxygen-gas, plasma or laser be accepted? If not, use water jet.
3. Which is more important to consider: productivity or cost?
If productivity is the most important, do not use water jets.
If low initial investment and low operating costs are the most important, use oxygen-gas.
If it is impossible to judge, continue:
4. Tolerance of secondary processing:
Can you tolerate the occasional impurity at the bottom of the steel plate? If not, use water jet or laser.
Does the secondary processing need rounded holes? If necessary, use water jet or laser.
5. Number of cutting tools:
Are the parts suitable for cutting with 2, 4 or more cutting torches? Oxygen-fuel gas can exceed the speed of plasma and laser. Multiple plasma cutting torches can be used for cutting, but if the initial investment of all equipment is considered, the cost is relatively high. When using water jet, if the flow rate of the purchased pump is sufficient to support multiple cutting heads, a single booster pump can be used to run multiple water jet cutting nozzles. Although fiber lasers support simultaneous cutting with multiple heads, laser cutting is traditionally limited to the use of a single cutting head.
6. Unconventional factors:
Another consideration for including unconventional factors in any calculation range is the idea of using multiple processes for cutting-using two of the above cutting processes for the same part. The most logical combination of processes is water jet and plasma or water jet and oxygen-fuel gas. With the new fiber laser technology, it is now possible to combine laser and plasma or laser and oxygen-gas. The advantage of multi-process cutting is that it can use slower and more accurate processes for some contours, while for other contours, use faster and lower-priced processes. In this way, parts that meet its accuracy requirements can be produced, and the cost is much lower than that of cutting the entire part using a high-precision process.
Conclusion of Steel Cutting Machine
The thickness ranges and functions of these four steel cutter machines overlap with each other, which makes it difficult to choose which process to use for any particular medium carbon steel part. Therefore, manufacturing plants or steel product repair centers that need to be able to cut multiple materials usually end up using machines equipped with at least two cutting processes. Sometimes, the only way to figure out which process is best for a particular part is to try many different ways to see which process works best.