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OxyFuel Cutting Equipment and Operations


OxyFuel Cutting Equipment and Operations


Oxy acetylene fuel cutting occurs when oxygen is directed to heated metal resulting in the metal burning or oxidizing away.  Oxygen is required to support any burning process. Oxygen is not flammable by itself, however, it increases the speed and force with which burning takes place. When combined with acetylene, the flame becomes hotter and combustion is faster.

An oxyfuel torch can be fitted with cutting attachments instead of using a welding head. The cutting attachments can be used to cut steel approximately 6 inches thick.

Oxyfuel cutting operations can use gasses such as oxygen, acetylene, MAPP, natural gas and propane.

Oxyacetylene Equipment Check List Includes:

  • Oxygen regulator
  • Acetylene regulator
  • Oxygen/Acetylene welding hose
  • Hose couplings
  • Single-purpose oxyfuel cutting torch
  • Cylinders and cart
  • Flash arrestor and check vales (protective equipment)
  • Flint lighter to ignite torch

Oxy Acetylene Cutting Equipment

Oxy Acetylene Cutting Torch

Oxy Acetylene Torch Styles

The cutting torch (see figure 5-12 below),
like the welding torch, has a tube for oxygen and one for acetylene. In
addition, there is a tube for high pressure oxygen, along with a
cutting tip or nozzle.

Oxy-actyelene Cutting Torch Diagram - Figure 5-12

Tip: The tip (see figure 5-13)
is provided with a center hole through which a jet of pure oxygen
passes. Mixed oxygen and acetylene gas pass through holes surrounding the
center holes for the preheating flames. The number of orifices for
oxy-acetlylene flames ranges from 2 to 6, depending on the purpose for
which the tip is used.

Oxyactylene Cutting Tip Diagram

Torch Control: The cutting torch is controlled by a trigger or
lever operated valve. The cutting torch is furnished with
interchangeable tips for cutting steel from less than 1/4 in. (6.4 mm)
to more than 12.0 in. (304.8 mm) in thickness.

A cutting attachment fitted to a welding torch in place of the welding tip is shown in figure 5-14.

Welding Torch Cutting Attachment - figure 5-14

In order to make uniformly clean cuts on steel plate,
motor driven cutting machines are used to support and guide the cutting
torch. Straight line cutting or beveling is accomplished by guiding the
machine along a straight line on steel tracks. Arcs and circles are cut
by guiding the machine with a radius rod pivoted about a central point.

Typical cutting machines in operation are shown in figure 5-15 and figure 5-16.

Cutting Machine Bevel

Welder using an oxyfuel cutting machine to make a circular bevel


Oxyfuel Machine for Making Multiple Simultaneous Cuts - Figure 5-16

Oxyfuel Cutting Tip Styles

There is a wide variety of cutting tip styles and
sizes available to suit various types of work. The thickness of the
material to be cut generally governs the selection of the tip. The
cutting oxygen pressure, cutting speed, and preheating intensity should
be controlled to produce narrow, parallel sided kerfs.

Cuts that are
improperly made will produce ragged, irregular edges with adhering slag
at the bottom of the plates. Table 5-3 identifies cutting tip numbers, gas pressures, and hand-cutting speeds
used for cutting mild steel up to 12 in. (304.8 mm) thick.

Oxyactylene Cutting Information - Table 5-3

(1) Various manufacturers do not adhere to the numbering of tips as set forth in this table; therefore, some tips may carry different identification numbers.

Operation of Oxy acetylene Cutting Equipment

Flame Cutting Steel Plate

Diagram a: Example of steel plate flame cutting with an oxyfuel cutting torch nozzle. Diagram b: flame-cut plate cross-section with drag lines


Oxygen Acetylene Welding Cutting Torch Video

Oxyfuel Operating Steps:

Here are the operating steps for oxyfuel cutting:

  1. a. Attach the required cutting tip to the torch and adjust the oxygen and acetylene pressures in accordance with table 5-3 above.NOTE
    The oxygen and acetylene gas pressure settings listed
    are only approximate. In actual use, pressures should be set to effect
    the best metal cut.
  2. Adjust the preheating flame to neutral.
  3. Hold the torch so that the cutting oxygen lever or trigger can be
    operated with one hand. Use the other hand to steady and maintain the
    position of the torch head to the work. Keep the flame at a 90 degree
    angle to work in the direction of travel. The inner cones of the
    preheating flames should be about 1/16 in. (1.6 mm) above the end of the
    line to be cut. Hold this position until the spot has been raised to a
    bright red heat, and then slowly open the cutting oxygen valve.
  4. If the cut has been started properly, a shower of sparks will fall
    from the opposite side of the work. Move the torch at a speed which
    will allow the cut to continue penetrating the work. A good cut will be
    clean and narrow.
  5. When cutting billets, round bars, or heavy sections, time and gas
    are saved if a burr is raised with a chisel at the point where the cut
    is to start. This small portion will heat quickly and cutting will start
    immediately. A welding rod can be used to start a cut on heavy
    sections. When used, it is called a starting rod.

Oxyacetylene Cutting Hose

Two hoses are built into one (siamesed). Green hose is used for oxygen, red for acetylene, black for any inert air or gas

Safety Practices

General requirements include (follow manufacturers directions):

  • Always check for tight hose connections and leaks
  • Blow out the cylinder value
  • Do not stand behind or in front of regulator when opening the cylinder value
  • First turn on cylinder value and then adjust the regulator pressure screw
  • Slowly open the cylinder valve
  • Purge any oxygen and acetylene passages
  • Make sure mixing know is off before lighting torch
  • Light the acetylene
  • Never use with grease or oil. Do not handle with greasy gloves or oily hands. Oil and grease can become explosive in hte presence of oxygen!
  • Do not substitute oxygen for air
  • Keep the work area clean
  • Note that oxyacetylene becomes unstable above 15 PSI, do not use above this level (oxygen max is 40 psi)
  • Do not pick up materials with gloves after cutting
  • For Additional Reading
  • Oxy-acetylene welding and cutting
  • NEXT: Fuel Pressure Regulators >>>>

Page Author: Jeff Grill