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Question

Where can I find information on the average temperature of a cutting torch when it is used to cut steel?
Asked by: Molly Collins

Answer

Many processes are used to cut steel many of which involve some sort of torch. If you are mainly interested in the torch of choice, Oxy-Acetylene, is your best bet. You can get a lot of information on Oxy-Acetylene cutting here; http://www.twi.co.uk/bestprac/jobknol/jk3.html.

As far as the temperature used to 'cut' steel that will be a little tougher, because the flame cutting process uses a neutral flame to heat the steel the temperature of fusion at this point a jet of oxygen is allowed to pass through the torch tip. This jet of oxygen doesn't blow away the molten material as is commonly thought. What actually cuts the steel is the rapid oxidation of the molten material which keeps it from simply bonding or(Welding)itself back together. This is the preferred process because it leaves a clean Kerf, relatively quick and inexpensively. If you are interested in cutting steel as well as other materials I would suggest researching 'plasma arc' cutting processes, which will cut any metal that conducts electricity (Oxy-acetylene will only cut ferrous metals).
Answered by: Mitchell Russell, Ironworker
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