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Best Way Of How To Cut Steel Plate

Plate steel laser cutter is used in many steel markets and machinery industry. Now let me introduce the best way of how to cut steel plate.

Plate steel type and thickness

  • The steel plate is flat steel, made by casting and cooling.
  • The steel plate is rectangular and can be directly rolled or cut into wide strips.
  • The thickness of the steel plate should be less than 4mm (the thinnest is 0.2mm), the medium thickness is 4~60mm, and the special thickness is 60~115mm.
how to cut steel plate
how to cut steel plate

Factors to consider in how to cut steel sheet:

  • Thickness and material of steel plate
  • Cutting accuracy requirements
  • Cutting speed requirements
  • cost budget

Precautions for cutting steel plate:

  • Before cutting, the steel plate should be checked for cracks, slag inclusions and other defects, and if any, it should be dealt with first.
  • Wear protective glasses, gloves and other protective equipment when cutting.
  • After cutting, the cutting surface should be cleaned to prevent rust.

How to cutting steel plate methods

Steel plates of different thicknesses are cut in different ways.

Shearing machine:

The method of cutting steel plates with scissors or shears is a cold cutting method. It can cut rectangular, triangular and other conventional thin steel plates with high speed, guaranteed quality and cost saving. The ordinary shearing method is suitable for steel plates with a thickness of less than 6mm, especially thin steel plates with a thickness of less than 4mm. It can achieve higher cutting accuracy and speed, but it will produce certain deformation and burrs.

Water cutting method:

Water flow cutting is a method of cutting steel plates using high-pressure water flow. It is an advanced and environmentally friendly cold cutting method. The water flow cutting method is suitable for steel plates of any thickness and material, especially thick steel plates above 4mm. It can achieve high-quality and high-precision cutting results, but it will consume more energy and water resources.

Laser cutting:

By moving the upper knife and fixing the lower knife, metal plates of different thicknesses are cut, and the metal plates are separated according to the required size. Forging machinery, mainly used in the metal processing industry. It can process stainless steel below 25 mm with high processing precision, smooth cross section, fast processing speed and good sample quality.

Flame cutting:

This method uses combustible gases such as oxygen and acetylene to generate high temperatures for oxidation and melting. It can cut thick steel plates with low price, high operational flexibility and can cut different shapes. It is suitable for low carbon steel plates with thickness above 4mm and has high technical requirements for operation. It will produce more smoke and noise, and the cut will be rough.

Plasma cutting machine:

This method uses high-temperature plasma generated by high-frequency arcs to melt or oxidize steel plates. Generally, the thickness of the cutter is 0.5~30mm. A few imported high-power cutters can cut more than 30mm. V-shaped grooves are prone to upward, increasing the thickness and inclination. . It is suitable for steel plates of any material with a thickness above 4mm. It can achieve higher cutting speed and quality , but will consume more electricity and gas.

Laser cutting:

High-energy laser beam melts or oxidizes steel plates. It is currently the most advanced and precise cutting method. It is suitable for steel plates of any material with a thickness of less than 4mm. It can achieve rapid cutting for cutting highly reflective materials such as stainless steel and aluminum alloys. It is By far the fastest way to cut metal.

laser cutting steel sheet
laser cutting steel sheet

How to cut thick steel plate

Commonly used cutting tools for extra thick steel plates include flame cutting, plasma cutting, laser cutting, water jet cutting, etc.

Extra thick steel plates refer to steel plates with a thickness exceeding 60mm, which are widely used in ships, bridges, pressure vessels, machinery manufacturing and other fields. The cutting of extra-thick steel plates is a technically difficult and demanding process. Appropriate cutting tools and methods need to be selected to ensure cutting quality and efficiency.

How to cut 1 2 inch steel plate

A 1/2 inch steel plate offers some flexibility in cutting methods compared to much thicker plates. Here’s a breakdown of your options:

Recommended Methods:

  • Plasma Cutting: This is a great choice for a clean, precise cut on a 1/2 inch plate. Plasma cutters are relatively fast and can handle various thicknesses.
  • Oxy-Fuel Cutting: This is a more economical option if precision isn’t critical. Oxy-fuel cutting uses a torch to melt the steel, resulting in a rougher cut with some heat distortion.
  • Shear: Shearing is ideal for straight cuts on thinner plates. A metal fabrication shop might have a shear that can handle 1/2 inch steel.
  • Angle Grinder with Metal Cutting Disc: This is a portable option for occasional cuts. However, it’s slower and requires multiple passes for a 1/2 inch plate, potentially creating a less precise cut.

How to cut 1/4 stainless steel plate

CNC shearing machine is currently the most commonly used steel plate cutting equipment. It has the advantages of high precision, high efficiency, high degree of automation, relatively low cost, and high cost performance.

If you have high requirements for the smoothness of the cutting surface, you can choose a laser cutting machine or a wire cutting machine.

Carbon steel plate

Carbon steel plate has good cutting ability, and it is easy and not so complicated when laser cutting, but the cutting process is different for carbon steel plate with different thickness.

Generally, there is no special difficulty when cutting, and no special measures need to be taken. However, for steel plates with different thicknesses, the gas cutting process used is different.

laser cut carbon steel
laser cut carbon steel

Carbon Steel Laser cutter cutting process:

  • Steel plate thickness gas cutting process
  • Thin steel gas cutting process
  • Thick steel plate gas cutting process

Large thickness Hong Kong version. Semi-thick steel plates mainly refer to steel plates with a thickness of 4-300mm, thin steel plates refer to steel plates with a thickness of less than 4mm, and large-thickness steel plates refer to steel plates with a thickness of more than 300mm.

laser beam cutting
laser beam cutting

Cutting of general thickness steel plate

Steel plates of general thickness are more accessible to gas-cutting, so you can choose G01-100 or G02-100 cutting torch. The distance between the cutting nozzle and the workpiece is roughly equal to the length of the flame core plus 2-4mm.

When gas-cutting steel plates with a thickness of 25mm or more, a back-rake angle of 20-30 degrees can be used to improve the gas-cutting efficiency. It should be noted that the length of the winding wire should exceed 1/3 of the thickness of the steel plate to be gas-cut.

Gas cutting of large thickness steel plate

The laser cutter carbon with a thickness of more than 300mm is called large-thickness steel plate cutting. Since the steel plate is relatively thick, more than 300mm, gas cutting has certain difficulties. Large models of cutting torches and cutting nozzles can be used.

When cutting large-thickness steel plates, a sufficient oxygen supply must be ensured, that is, sufficient oxygen flow is provided to the cutting area. Multiple bottles of oxygen can be used to supply gas in parallel with a busbar, if necessary. Multiple sets of bus bars alternately supply air.

The entire oxygen supply system, including the pressure reducer, various joints and valves, the cutting torch intake pipe, and the diameter of the cutting nozzle, must meet the corresponding oxygen supply capacity.

In addition, since it is very difficult to restart the cutting of large-thickness steel, before laser cut carbon fiber sheet cutting, it is necessary to estimate all the gas consumption based on the thickness of the steel plate and the cutting length and prepare enough sources to avoid interruption of cutting due to exhaustion of oxygen in the middle.

Laser cutting machine products
Laser cutting machine products

For the cutting of large-thickness steel plates, starting cutting is more difficult, so the starting cutting should be carried out according to the following requirements; when starting to cut, the preheating flame should be large, and the edge of the workpiece should be preheated from the edge of the workpiece. 

When preheated to the cutting temperature, gradually turn on the cutting oxygen and tilt the cutting nozzle backward. When the edges of the parts to be cut are all cut through, increase the cutting oxygen flow and make the cutting nozzle perpendicular to the workpiece, while the cutting nozzle moves forward along the cutting line, The cutting nozzle should make a proper lateral swing, the cut has been widened, and the slag discharge is used.

During the re-cutting process, if there is an impenetrable phenomenon, stop cutting and start cutting again from the other end.

For large thickness cutting, equal pressure cutting nozzles and external mixing cutting nozzles can be used. The latter is better. Jet suction cutting nozzles are prone to tampering and are generally not suitable for use.

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