Cutting Methods For Stainless Steel Plates - Shandong Jiugang Tisco Steel Co., Ltd.

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Cutting Methods For Stainless Steel Plates

Methods of cutting stainless steel sheets
Depending on the finished size, type, gauge and intended use of your stainless steel sheet, there are usually several methods to produce any given piece. Each method has its advantages and at Tisco we are prepared to help you choose the best cutting solution for your stainless steel sheet.

Stainless steel sheets

There are different ways to cut stainless steel sheets and technical aspects must be evaluated to choose a method: cut quality, tolerances and production speed are key performance issues.

Laser cutting
The high-energy laser beam provides a cut width of less than one millimetre, minimising material loss. This method is favoured for its precision and excellent cut surface quality.

In addition, laser cutting produces a heat affected zone (HAZ) at the cutting edge. At slower cutting speeds, especially for thin parts, very complex contours can generate thermal stress. Gas assisted technology helps to maintain a clean surface quality. Although the cut length is limited, a large number of cut area sizes are available. As a relatively low cost as well as an efficient method, manufacturers often prefer to laser cut thinner stainless steel sheets.

High pressure water jet cutting (waterjet)
High-pressure water and added abrasives can cut stainless steel in various thicknesses with precision. Waterjet cutting is often used when the material being cut is sensitive to the high temperatures generated by other methods such as plasma cutting. Waterjet cutting is most often used in manufacturing processes when the application requires less heat on the part. It cuts stainless steel material by pushing water at very high pressure (4000 to 6000 bar).

The width of the cut is usually around one millimetre. In addition, often used to cut stainless steel sheets of 40 mm or larger, dynamic cutting eliminates any narrowing, which usually occurs when cutting thicker thicknesses with laser or plasma. Although the waterjet is a more expensive method, it has value when quality and manufacturing tolerances are critical but the thickness of the plate is beyond the limits of the laser.

Productivity of laser cutting and waterjet ready cutting
Both waterjet and laser methods are highly productive; however, the laser is approximately four times more productive. However, unlike the laser, waterjet speeds can be modulated to meet production speeds based on edge quality. The waterjet is a non-thermal process that eliminates the need for HAZ and secondary machining of complex profiles. This is an important consideration in certain industries, such as the aerospace industry.

Stainless Steel Sheet B

 

Similar to laser cutting, waterjets or waterjets have low material loss and rarely have long cut sizes (over twelve metres).

 

Plasma cutting
Plasma, known as the fourth state of matter, is essentially a superheated, electrically conductive gas. An inert gas, such as hydrogen, argon or simply compressed air, is passed through a thin nozzle at very high pressure and, together with an electric arc, forms a plasma jet. This method reaches extreme temperatures when in contact with conductive metals.

Plasma offers lower cut surface quality and wider tolerances. It offers the advantages of good productivity levels, lower costs and unlimited cutting lengths.

Sawing
Finally, sawing is a traditional method that has improved in capability and precision as machine technology has evolved. Some manufacturers use variable speed band saws to cut stainless steel sheets of various thicknesses. Hydraulic motors and computer numerical controls (CNC) add control and excellent repeatability to the powerful cutting capabilities.

 

Abrasive wheel saws can also be used for wet or dry cutting of steel plates. For steel plates up to 650 mm thick, these saws are a cost-effective method. They also have the advantage of introducing minimal heat into the material to avoid distortion. Sawing is suitable when saw blade length restrictions and wider tolerances are not an issue.

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