Plate cutting consists in overcoming material cohesion. The other naming to define this process is plate burning. There are several methods of plate cutting. The choice of particular way of cutting depends on the sort of plate, its thickness, the result we want to achieve and further use of the material. What does the process of plate cutting consist in? What methods of cutting can we distinguish and how do they differ from one another?
Plate laser cutting consists in laser beam on a part of its surface. Energy beam, created in such a way, enables plate cutting by melting, simultaneous melting and evaporation or melting and burning of the material. Laser cutting takes place in a presence of accompanying gas which works coaxially to laser beam and blows out side products generated, in the process of cutting, from the cutting slit. Innovative systems of laser cutting which are used by our company enable accurate and precise cutting not only of complicated shapes in any size, but also small holes in thick plates. This method of cutting is most frequently used in case of soft plates of thickness till approx. 30 mm. The process itself is not so fast, but it enables the achieving of precise contours and smooth edges. Thanks to it, final products do not require further treatment. Moreover laser cutting is a reliable, repetitive and automatic process because laser, after appropriate programming, would cut identical elements maintenance-free. High efficiency of laser cutting brings also maximal use of the material given and small amount of wastes.
The most popular and also oldest method of thick plates cutting is cutting with oxygen burner. The greatest advantage of this technology is the possibility of cutting even very thick plates. Most frequently this method is used in cases of plates of thickness of 25 till 300 mm. The process itself consists in heating the material to a very high temperature which enables its burning within the path set. As a result of burning, liquid oxides are produced which are removed under pressure by a strong gas stream. The appropriate set of oxygen burner enables achieving an ideally perpendicular surface of cutting and that is why the plate can be used for many purposes without the necessity of further treatment. The great advantage of gas cutting is the possibility of simultaneous usage of several burners which considerably increase efficiency of work and relatively low price of exploitation materials.
Another method of plate cutting is cutting with the use of plasma arc which is generated between the material and the electrode. It consists in melting and then throwing the metal from a cutting slit by plasma electric arc. Plasma cutting is used in case of soft and relatively thin plates of thickness of 6 – 40 mm. The greatest advantage of this method is usage of very high speed stream which enables considerably faster cutting in comparison with gas cutting method and small cutting slit. The quality of edges is not as high ad in case of other cutting technologies and that is why the material requires further treatment. Plasma cutting machines are relatively expensive, but its efficiency is worth the price.