Oxy Fuel Cutting

870 Words4 Pages
Oxy Fuel cutting (OFC) uses two gases (always oxygen, and usually acetylene) that combine and burn in a high temperature reaction to rapidly oxidize and "burn" the metal away. This process is good for cutting low carbon steels. Unfortunately aluminum and most stainless steel cannot be cut with the cutting process. Even small systems are good for cutting up to two inch thick plate steel. The cut is fairly smooth, but the kerf can be quite large and much metal can be wasted. The most common fuel used is Acetylene, though other fuels such as propane, MAPP, propanol, and other gases can be substituted. Acetylene gives the most thermal value when mixed and burned with pure oxygen. This allows shorter preheat times and faster cuts. Some torch systems allow the use of several different gases without major equipment changes other than the cutting tip. Some Oxy-Acetylene may not support other fuels without major changes to the equipment. Oxy-Acetylene also offers a bonus feature of being able to weld different metals including steel and even aluminum together with a special welding tip. Other Oxy-fuels don't reach the required temperature to properly join most metals. Brazing can be done with alternative fuel torch systems, because the temperature required to braze is much lower. Soldering can be done with almost all fuel choices. Though limited to cutting mainly steel, it is effective for use in heating most metals for tempering and bending/straightening operations. Portability is only limited by size of the gas cylinders selected. Small cylinders can be bought in a portable pack, and larger ones can be leased. Due to governmental regulations, most companies will only lease the largest cylinders. Refill of personally owned cylinders when the gases are depleted can be problematic, especially when exchanging or refilling them at a company other than where the cylinders were

More about Oxy Fuel Cutting

Open Document