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Several common metal cutting methods

The first step in metal processing is cutting. The raw materials are simply cut off or separated according to the shape to get the blank. Common metal cutting methods are: grinding wheel cutting, saw cutting, flame cutting, plasma cutting, laser cutting and water jet cutting.

Grinding wheel cutting

High speed rotating grinding wheel is used to cut steel. It is a common cutting method. The grinding wheel cutting machine is light, flexible, simple and convenient. It is widely used in various occasions, especially in the construction site and interior decoration. It is mainly used to cut off some small diameter square, round and special-shaped pipes.

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Saw cutting

The method of cutting the workpiece or material out of the slot with saw blade is called sawing. Sawing is carried out by metal band sawing machine. Cutting off the material is the most basic requirement of metal processing, so the sawing machine is the standard configuration in the machining industry. It is necessary to select the right saw blade and adjust the best cutting speed according to the hardness of the material.

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Flame cutting (gas cutting)

Flame cutting is a chemical reaction between oxygen and hot steel to heat metal, soften it, and finally melt it. Acetylene or natural gas is used for heating gas.

Flame cutting can only cut carbon plate. It is not suitable for other types of metal, such as stainless steel or copper aluminum material.

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The advantage of flame cutting is low cost, the maximum cutting thickness can reach two meters. The disadvantages are that the heat affected zone and thermal deformation are relatively large, the section is rough and there are many slag. Considering the subsequent processing, more allowance should be made.

Plasma cutting

The plasma cutting method was invented in the 1950s. It uses the heat of high-temperature plasma arc to melt (and evaporate) the metal at the cutting edge of the workpiece, and uses the momentum of high-speed plasma to eliminate the molten metal to form a cutting.

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Plasma is generally used to cut materials with thickness less than 100 mm. Different from flame cutting, plasma cutting speed is fast, especially in cutting ordinary carbon steel sheet, the speed can reach 5 ~ 6 times of oxygen cutting method, and the cutting surface is smooth, the thermal deformation is small, and the heat affected zone is less. Plasma cutting is not limited to cutting carbon plate, stainless steel, copper, aluminum and nickel titanium metal, etc.

Laser cutting

Laser cutting is the use of high-energy laser beam to heat, local melting, vaporization of metal to complete the cutting of materials, usually used for thin steel (< 30mm) high-efficiency precision cutting.

The laser cutting quality is very excellent, not only the cutting speed is fast, the dimensional accuracy is also very high (up to ± 0.05mm), but also because the laser beam acts on a very small area, the heat affected zone is very small, and the workpiece almost does not deform.

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In terms of cutting quality, laser is better than plasma; from cutting speed, plasma is faster than laser.

Water jet cutting

Water jet cutting is a kind of processing method which uses high pressure water to cut metal. With the continuous improvement of technology, pomegranate sand, Emery and other abrasives are mixed into high-pressure water to improve the cutting speed and thickness (up to 200 mm). The accuracy of water jet cutting can reach ± 0.4mm or higher.

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Water jet can cut any material with any curve at one time. Because the medium is water, the biggest advantage of the water knife is that the heat generated during cutting will be immediately taken away by the high-speed water jet, and there is no thermal effect, so it can be used to cut shells.

Source: China Metal Flanges Manufacturer – Yaang Pipe Industry (

(Yaang Pipe Industry is a leading manufacturer and supplier of nickel alloy and stainless steel products, including Super Duplex Stainless Steel Flanges, Stainless Steel Flanges, Stainless Steel Pipe Fittings, Stainless Steel Pipe. Yaang products are widely used in Shipbuilding, Nuclear power, Marine engineering, Petroleum, Chemical, Mining, Sewage treatment, Natural gas and Pressure vessels and other industries.)

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