A comparison of the most popular methods of cutting metal

Metal is one of the most fundamental raw materials in modern production. Metals and their alloys are used in almost every branch of industry, ranging from areas such as construction, metallurgy, or the automotive industry, to less obvious ones, such as furniture, decorating, or IT. Therefore, the metalworking industry is growing faster than any other, and specialists and scientists are outdoing each other in new methods of cutting, bending, grinding, and forming metal parts. In today’s article, together with Elektron experts, we will deal with metal cutting and consider which are the most popular methods of metal cutting today.

What is worth considering when choosing a cutting method?

Metal cutting is one of the most important and most frequently used methods of metal processing. Because it is one of the key issues in the context of the production of steel structures, there are many different methods of cutting, using other elements and technologically advanced equipment. When selecting the appropriate method, you should take into account at least several factors. Among the most important, we can mention:

  • experience of the person dealing with the cutting,
  • type of material,
  • The result we plan to get
  • The thickness of a given metal element,
  • The required level of precision,
  • The specificity of a given order

Metal cutting methods can be divided into three main types

  • Cold cutting: no need to heat the material.
  • Hot cutting – i.e. using high temperatures,
  • A combination of the previously mentioned methods.

Types of metal cutting methods

  • Cutting cutting
Cutting is a type of mechanical processing. This is undoubtedly one of the simplest and most popular methods, but it is not the most precise, and the finished element requires secondary processing. Cutting is performed with metal band saws.
 
  • Laser cutting
 Laser cutting is a relatively new method that has replaced mechanical cutting very quickly because it is distinguished by full automation of the process and, thus, a high level of detail and a low margin of error. Additionally, it is not so harmful to the human body and the natural environment. Laser cutting is a guarantee of exceptional repeatability and freedom in the implementation of non-standard orders, both in wholesale and retail formats. Laser cutting gives the possibility of serial production of objects with non-standard shapes, even in miniature sizes, due to the precision of the laser light beam. If you want to know more about it, click here.

  • Thermal cutting
A method of locally oxidising them or melting a metal surface at a high temperature. During thermal cutting, the products of the oxidation reaction are discharged from the cutting gap along with the liquid metal. This process involves the use of special torches that mix combustible gas and oxygen to form a flame that is great for cutting metal. This is a very effective method, but it is not suitable for creating detailed shapes.

  • Plastic cutting
Otherwise called embossing, This process involves cutting the metal by breaking its integrity without producing a cavity. The types of plastic cutting include all kinds of cutting and punching.

  • Water cutting
Water cutting involves the use of a condensed H2O stream, which is then transported in a nozzle with a small diameter, and thus the speed of the generated liquid reaches concentrated energy power with compression of about 400 MPa. The main advantages of this type of cutting are the lack of restrictions on the thickness of the material and the lack of thermal deformation on the final product. However, keep in mind that this is one of the most expensive options on the market.