The Anatomy of a CNC Profile Cutter

What is a CNC profile cutter? They are a metal plate cutting machine utilizing either an oxy-fuel or plasma cutting technology to be able to cut through tough or hard objects, particularly metal.  

Oxy-Fuel Cutting

Flame cutting by oxyfuel can be qualified as the most cost-effective way to cut low alloy steel. They are also efficient in handling weld preparations. So far, the pros consider it as among the metal industry’s most important production processes.  

Oxyfuel Plate Cutting Process

Flame cutting or oxyfuel cutting is a combustion process and makes use of fuel or oxygen gas flame. The heating flame will take the material to the ignition temperature. After this, a jet of pure oxygen, that is 99.5% purity level, will be blown onto the target spot.

The jet of pure oxygen will oxidize the metal and after which the torch will be moved, creating the narrow cutting kerf and take away the slag from the kerf. As for cut quality, it will have to depend upon the condition of the surface of the material, thickness, and cut-velocity.

This cutting-edge technology can handle and cut all kinds of low alloy steel, even if they happen to be several inches thick. Despite the fact that many other cutting technologies are currently having increasing significance, like how laser and plasma cutting are gaining wide acceptance and patronage by the stone fabrication industry,  it still remains up to this day a very economical process.

Oxyfuel Plate Cutting Key Features

  • Smooth, vertical planes of cut
  • Wide range of material
  • Metallurgical perfect surfaces (oxidized)
  • Low cutting speed
  • Carbonizing and hardening within the area of the heat affected zone
  • Good cut quality
  • High heat input

Plasma Cutting

The original intention behind the development and tapping of plasma as another method or approach to cutting metals is to use it for thermal cutting of materials that can’t be properly handled by flame cutting alone. This includes aluminum or high alloy steel.  Nowadays, this method is also used of economical cutting of low alloyed steel, even if you require them to be thinly sliced.

Plasma as the 4th State of Matter.

Elementary grade science is now educating the youth about the existence of the 4th state of matter, that is plasma. Normally,  what we are most familiar with in terms of these 3 states of matter, solid, liquid, and gas. What makes these 3 states of matter distinct from each other is the amount of energy they have.

If we apply energy to ice, that is heat, it will melt and take on its liquid form water. Then again if you will further apply heat to water, it will heat and boil forming steam, the gas state. By virtue of applying heat to steam, the gas becomes ionized. The ionization process will cause the gas to become electrically conductive and is called plasma.

How Can Plasma Cut Through a Metal?

The plasma cutting process works by utilizing the electrically conductive gas so it could transfer the energy from an electrical power source through a plasma cutter torch then going to the material that you are trying to cut.

A plasma arc cutting system is usually comprised of an arc starting circuit, a power supply, and a torch.  These system components will provide the ionization capability, electrical energy and the process control that is needed in order to produce top quality, productive cuts on a wide spectrum of different materials.  

CNC profile cutters may take on a number of different ways, but their function will always be the same, and that is to deliver precision cutting method on tough materials like metals.

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