Introduction to metal cutting techniques

Thermal cutting of metal uses concentrated heat to sever the metal. Water jetting uses a jet of water (+ abrasive) under high pressure to cut the material.

Most relevant techniques:

Oxy-fuel cutting

Warmth is produced by a flame of oxygen and a fuel gas (acetylene or propane). This is the oldest method and is used for steel in thicknesses range from 5 mm tot 300 mm. This method can only be used when cutting steel (not voor stainless steel). This is still the best choice for cutting thicknesses greater than 40 mm.


Image - Introduction to metal cutting techniques

Plasma cutting

The heat is produced by turning gas to plasma (similar to lightning). This technique is employed for the cutting of material with thicknesses ranging from 0.5 mm to 50 mm. All conductive materials can be used. The cutting speed is very high which increases the productivity of this method.

Image - Introduction to metal cutting techniques

Water jet cutting

The material is cut with a thin water jet and, if needed, abrasive particles (sand). This technique can be used for all kinds of materials. The inclination angle is smaller than by plasma cutting but bigger than by laser cutting. The process is very slow and consequently only economically interesting after plasma and laser cutting. The downside for rust sensitive materials is that the work pieces have to be dried before stacking.

Image - Introduction to metal cutting techniques

Laser cutting

The heat source by laser cutting is concentrated light. The light is created in the laser source and send to the plate through mirrors or optical wires. This technique is used for steel thicknesses up to 30 mm. It is the most efficient by cutting thickness lower than 5 mm. By thicknesses higher than 5 mm they are swiftly overtaken by plasma cutting. The current fiber lasers have an energetic efficiency of approximately 30%.

Image - Introduction to metal cutting techniques

Interested in plasma cutting?

Her you can read more about this technique:

Searching for a plasma cutter?

Contact us for a tailor made offer:

Or reach us here:

Interested in a laser?

Contact us for a tailor-made offer:

Or reach us here: