Metal can be cut by a variety of different methods, ranging from the more traditional (such as by bandsaw), to the more innovative and technologically advanced, such as waterjet cutting. Here we will give you a brief introduction to metal cutting and different methods, so you can decide which one is best for your particular application.
Bandsaws with a hardened blade
Perhaps the most traditional method for cutting metals is with the use of a bandsaw. This method of cutting is available in both horizontal and vertical directions, with most being built for the friction associated with cutting hard metals. The design usually incorporates some form of cooling system, where coolant is used to both wash away chips as well as to keep the blade cool and lubricated.
Oxy-fuel cutting is where fuel gases and oxygen are used to cut metals. A cutting torch is used to heat metal to kindling temperature, with a stream of oxygen that lets the metal burn in itself, producing an oxide slag. This works by having a torch with multiple jets “outer jets produce oxygen mixed with acetylene to heat the metal, while the central jet has pure oxygen for cutting”.
Waterjet cutters do just what their name suggests “they can cut a wide range of metals by using a focused jet of water that travels at supersonic speeds, sometimes above 3000kph.” The benefits of waterjet cutters include their amazing accuracy, reduced stress on materials and machinery, eco-friendliness, and increased versatility.
Perhaps the most important benefit of waterjetsare their ability to cut material without the heat caused by the friction associated with most other methods. This is especially important when cutting metals, where excessive heat can harm and change the intrinsic properties of the metal, rendering areas close to the cut useless.
Another main benefit of waterjets is their versatility. When used with specialised software and 3D machining heads, a waterjet cutter can produce complex 3D shapes in a wide variety of materials. In fact, waterjets can make cuts as small as 0.01 mm “approximately the width of a human hair!”
This preferred cutting method is also the most efficient and environmentally friendly available. This is because it produces no hazardous waste, greatly reducing the costs associated with waste disposal.
Article By: Stefen Mark The Beginners Guide To Metal Cutting from: http://www.articlesnatch.com/blog/The-Beginner—s-Guide-To-Metal-Cutting/4054855