How Does Oxy-Fuel Cutting Work?

Oxy-fuel cutting is a metal fabrication technology that is typically used to process thick materials measuring more than 1 inch. It is one of the oldest tools for fabricating metal and is still a popular option for small custom fabrication shops, large-scale production centers, and everything in between. So how exactly does an oxy-cutting machine work? Let’s take a closer look.

The Power of Oxy Fuel

As its name implies, oxy-fuel cutting is powered by pure oxygen, which creates a chemical reaction with the steel material to produce a cut. Preheated flames are first used to heat the metal up to around 1,800˚F; then pure oxygen is shot at the material in a compressed stream, cutting through the plate. However, because oxygen is used to create the chemical reaction, oxy-fuel cutting is effective only on ferrous (iron-containing) materials, such as low-carbon steel.

Benefits of Oxy-Fuel Cutting

Though the chemical reaction used by oxy-fuel cutting leaves behind iron-oxide dross, it nonetheless produces fairly clean results. An oxy-cutting machine can create a:

  • Smooth surface with near-vertical drag lines
  • Square top corner with minimum radius
  • Flat cut face with no undercut
  • Square cut face
  • Bottom edge with little slag

Is Oxy-Fuel Cutting Right for Your Shop?

Determining which type of fabrication tool is right for your operations depends on what product you specialize in making, what materials you use, and the volume at which you produce. At Machitech, we are custom fabrication experts and can help you find the right heavy-duty metal cutting technology for your shop. Contact us today to learn more.