High Carbon Steel Cutting
Conventional oxy-fuel cutting is inefficient for cutting high carbon steel and cast iron due to relatively low iron content for a full-fledged exothermic oxidation reaction. Therefore, plasma cutting for thicknesses up to 100 mm or powder cutting for thicker metal is used. In powder cutting, fine iron powder is fed into the cutting zone, which, by reacting with oxygen, raises the temperature of the melt zone to almost 4000 K. As a result, the base metal melts, and the kinetic energy of powder and oxygen blows the molten metal out of the cutting zone. This technology allows cutting cast iron up to 800 mm thick. A burning bar cutting, also called thermal lance cutting, is used for even higher thicknesses.