What is the difference between flame cutting, plasma cutting and laser cutting?

Oxygen cutting, plasma cutting, and laser cutting are all common metal cutting methods, and they have different principles, applications, advantages and disadvantages.

Flame cutting is a traditional metal cutting method. Its principle is to use the high-temperature oxidation of gas (such as acetylene, oxygen) to heat metal and oxidize the metal material at the heated part into gas through oxidation reaction to form a molten state, and then use The airflow of the cutting nozzle ejects the molten metal to achieve the cutting effect. Flame cutting is suitable for most metal materials with a thickness of 1mm to 50mm, but due to the limitation of its working principle, it is not suitable for some materials (such as stainless steel, aluminum alloy, etc.) that require high cutting accuracy and surface quality.

Plasma cutting is a technique that uses plasma to cut metal. Plasma is a high-temperature, high-energy, high-speed ion body composed of electrons, ions, and atoms. In plasma cutting, gas is ionized by a high-energy arc or high-frequency power supply to form plasma, and the high-energy impact of plasma on metal causes evaporation and chemical reactions on the surface to achieve cutting. Compared with flame cutting, plasma cutting has faster cutting speed, higher cutting efficiency, higher cutting accuracy, and surface quality. It is suitable for cutting high-demand materials such as stainless steel and aluminum alloy, but the equipment price and operating cost are higher.

Laser cutting is a non-contact cutting method that uses a high-energy-density laser beam to locally melt and evaporate metal materials. Laser cutting can achieve high-precision, high-speed, high-quality cutting. It can cut various metal materials and non-metal materials. It has high cutting precision, smooth edges, a small heat-affected area on metal materials, and good cutting surface quality. The cost and equipment price of laser cutting is relatively high, and it is usually suitable for high-end manufacturing and customized production.

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