Flame cutting is a thermal cutting technology. A special torch that mixes fuel gases and oxygen to make a very hot flame is used. The flame melts the metal, and then it gets blown away with more oxygen.

Flame cutting or Oxyfuel cutting has been around for a long time and many companies still use this technology today. Flame cutting is used when cutting materials such as mild steel and some alloys also meet the criteria. For example, the cutting of thick things, like steel plates, that are hard to cut with other tools.

For manual flame cutting, you need to set up the torch first. The torch has a handle, a hose, and a nozzle. It connects to tanks of fuel gases, like acetylene, propane, or natural gas, and oxygen. Then one adjusts the gas and oxygen flow to make the flame the right temperature and size for the metal material that is to be cut.

To begin the process, one lights the flame and brings it close to the metal. The flame then makes the metal melt, and more oxygen is applied to blow the residues away. To finish the cut, one must repeatedly move the torch along the line where the incision is to be made.

Flame cutting has some pros and cons. One good thing is that you can use it on many kinds of metals such as low carbon steel, low alloy steels, and cast irons. Another good thing is that it is not too hard to set up and you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment. Flame cutting is also quick, and you can cut several inches of metal per minute depending on how thick it is. If you have a handheld manual torch, you can take the equipment with you wherever you go, like in the field or on job sites.

Oxyfuel cutting also has some challenges. One issue is that it generates a lot of heat, which can bend the metal or warp it when you cut it. Another challenge is that the cuts are not very smooth or straight.

You can fix this by using by using a comprehensive CNC flame cutting machine such as our MicroStep range which have computers equipped with software that control the torch to make more accurate and consistent cuts.

But even with these problems, flame cutting is still an useful and economical way to cut metal. You cannot beat the thicknesses to be cut with materials from 40mm and from thicknesses of 160mm and more there is still no alternative. Our MicroStep CombiCut can cut up to 300mm and can be fitted with various technologies such as a plasma rotator and a triple flame cutting unit or even be fitted with up to 8 oxyfuel burners.

Flame cutting is a traditional and reliable method that is economical, and businesses have been using this technology for a long time. Together with the right oxyfuel cutting system you can have automatic control of gas pressures, with adaptation to the material thickness, control of preheating and piercing cycles which all deliver consistent quality – regardless of the experience level of the operator.

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Main Office: Unit B2B cnr Hulley and Gewel, Isando Business Park
Office: 011 397 6356
Ludwig Oellermann: +27 (0) 83 463 0999
Email: info@microstepsa.co.za