Stainless Steel Cutting
For cutting high-alloy, stainless and heat-resistant steels, a higher temperature is required than with conventional autogenous cutting, therefore, plasma cutting or oxygen-flux cutting of metals or a laser is used for this.
The energy of the plasma arc reaches tens of thousands of degrees, applied to a narrow heating spot at the cut, as a result of which any material instantly melts and evaporates and is blown out by the excess pressure of the plasma-forming gas jet. This high temperature makes plasma cutting more efficient and capable of cutting any conductive material up to 100 mm thick.
The use of conventional technology for oxy-fuel cutting of stainless steels and cast irons is impossible due to the insufficient amount of iron in their composition for a full-fledged iron oxidation reaction: Fe + O2. + T = Fe0 + O2 + t = Fe2O3 + O2 + t = Fe3O4.
Therefore, for cutting stainless steel with a thickness of more than 50 mm, so-called oxygen-flux cutting is used. The essence of the method lies in the fact that fine iron powder is fed into the cutting zone, which, reacting with oxygen, raises the temperature of the melt zone to almost 4000K. As a result, the base metal begins to melt and the kinetic energy of oxygen and flux blows it out of the cutting zone.
Using this technology, it is possible to cut stainless steel up to 1000 mm thick, when using an oxygen lance up to 2500 mm