What thermal cutting is - definition

10/23/23, 12:13 PM

Thermal cutting as a definition refers to a technique in which heat is used to separate materials. The material is heated by heat until it reaches the melting or decomposition point. This results in a cut or separation point on the solid body of the material to be separated.</p

According to the definition, the usual thermal separations include:

  • Autogenous flame cutting: To melt steel and create a cut, a flame, usually consisting of a mixture of fuel gas and oxygen, is used.

  • Plasma cutting: This process uses plasma, an ionized gas, to melt and cut metals. The high temperature of the plasma arc can be up to 30,000 °C.

  • Laser cutting: In this case, a laser beam is used to melt or vaporize the material, resulting in a precise cut.

All of these processes use heat in various forms to separate materials. The type of material, the required cutting quality and the thickness of the workpiece are some of the factors that often determine which process is used.


What is thermal cutting not suitable for by definition?

According to this definition, thermal separation is not suitable for materials that release hazardous gases or vapors or decompose when heated. It is also not suitable for materials with extremely high melting points, which cannot be achieved efficiently using conventional thermal methods.

These include materials such as special alloys or ceramics with very high melting points and some plastics that release toxic gases when heated. For some of these materials, waterjet cutting can be an alternative. Low-alloy steels, on the other hand, can be processed very well using thermal cutting processes.


Advantages and disadvantages of thermal separation processes

The advantage of thermal separation processes is that they can separate a variety of materials, especially metals, quickly and efficiently. At the same time, they offer high precision. In contrast to mechanical processes, thermal cutting as it is defined does not require any force. Instead, thermal cutting can be used to process materials that pose a problem for mechanical cutting due to their thickness.

However, it should be noted that the potential formation of a heat-affected zone at the cutting edge is possible. This can affect the properties of the material close to the cut. They also have the potential to cause unwanted changes or unevenness at the cut edges if used inappropriately. For accurate thermal cutting by definition, cutting machines should be precisely adjusted to the material and the requirements of the cutting project.


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