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Sheet metal provides a high strength solution for various operations which span the industrial and manufacturing sector. Sheet metal can also be easily modified and cut into different shapes to match the specification of the job you are completing. However, when cutting sheets of metal it is important that you choose the correct method. Below is a guide four standard sheet metal cutting methods.
Laser cutting involves using a highly concentrated beam of light which generates enough heat to cut through the sheets of metal. The benefit of laser cutting is that because it is computer controlled, it is very precise and produces very little waste material. This precision results in a cut which is superior to those achieved using traditional mechanical methods. Laser cutting can also be used to produce complex decorative cuts which would be impossible to achieve by hand.
Flame cutting is ideal if you need to cut through very thick steels of metal. Flame cutting involves the use of an oxy-fuel torch. The oxy-fuel torch produces an incredibly hot flame which can easily cut through even the thickest pieces of metal. However, most flame cutting equipment requires manual control which reduces the level of precision which can be achieved. Even if you have marked the cut lines on the metal, you still have to rely on the steady hand of the operator. Flame cutting can also produce large quantities of waste metal in the form of slag.
Plasma cutting is very similar to the oxy-fuel technique. However, it differs in one important way. Rather than using the heat of a flame to cut the metal, a plasma cutting tool uses a jet of plasma. Plasma is made up of ionised gas, which can reach very hot temperatures. These exceptionally high temperatures mean you can cut through metal very quickly. However, this state-of-the-art technology can be very expensive to rent.
Water Jet Cutting
As the name suggest, water jet cutting uses high-pressure water to cut through sheet metal. One of the main benefits of using water jet cutting is that it does not generate as much heat as laser, flame or plasma cutting which reduces the chance that the metal will suffer from heat distortion. However, water jet cutting is very expensive compared to other methods of cutting sheet metal and is only effective for thinner pieces of material.
If you would like to find out more about cutting sheet metal, you should contact an industrial equipment specialist today.Share