Modern structural steel is a human marvel of engineering and ingenuity. Centuries of metalworking has brought us to the modern age, with steel being one of the most versatile and reusable materials on the planet. From the raw iron ore to the final finish coat, there are a lot of steps that lead to the finished product. As your go-to team of structural steel fabricators in Michigan, Sanilac Steel is proud to help build our state with craftsmanship and pride. Since 1967, we’ve proudly been among the top steel fabrication companies in the state. The process of steel fabrication and installation includes many alterations to the metal itself. Oftentimes, the process of metal cutting needs to be done to ensure a precise length for exacting specifications. As such, it is vital to utilize a technique that consistently produces quality cuts every single time. Today, we’ll look at a few popular techniques that are commonly used to cut steel across the country. If you’re in need of an experienced steel company that prides itself on quality and timeliness, be sure to contact Sanilac Steel for assistance!

A Method For Every Application

The tools and methods that you can use for cutting metal depend heavily on the material and application of the metal. From steel plates to gigantic beams and beyond, the requirements for safe, efficient cutting operations will vary greatly. Many industry professionals utilize some of the steel cutting techniques below.

Friction Sawing

While this method is utilized more on the jobsite as opposed to in the foundry, it is still a vital part of the structural steel erection process. Essentially, a rotary blade is used at a high speed to cut the metal away. Unlike conventional sawing, friction sawing is done at much higher speeds, creating heat from the friction that results. While standard methods chip away small portions of the metal, friction sawing actually heats the metal to a point that it is much softer. The result is a much smoother, quicker cut that can get the job done in no time.

Cold Sawing

This steel cutting technique is useful because it utilizes the motions of friction sawing coupled with a cooling effect to keep the material and user cool. The friction creates a heat buildup which, when done correctly, transfers the heat to the metal particulates that are being expelled away from the saw. The result is a much cooler product when it is finished that can be safely handled by our trained structural steel fabricators.

Oxy-Fuel Cutting

Anyone needing a cost-effective and efficient method of cutting, beveling, and welding can benefit from oxy-fuel welding and cutting techniques. While still effective in the steel industry, this method has been in use since 1903. Basically, pure oxygen is used in conjunction with a flame source to vastly increase the temperature to melt the contacted metal. The desired temperature point is supplied by a fuel source that can consist of gasoline, hydrogen, acetylene, butane, and many more. As long as you have a supply of pure oxygen and fuel, you’ll be able to perform a variety of cuts.

Oxy-fuel cutting is an economical choice for low-alloy steels. The setup operation is very simple and efficient, giving steel fabricators of all backgrounds the ability to perform fast, effective cuts with minimal costs. If you have a thick piece of metal, oxy-fuel cutting can be a proper solution. There are also no electrical requirements for this method, giving steel producers a better edge in areas that are lacking in power supplies. While quick and efficient, the nature of this technique produces a wider heat-affected zone. Precision cuts are not recommended with this steel cutting technique.

When it comes to structural steel fabrication and production, there are many methods in which trained professionals can cut metals. Performing cuts in a safe, precise manner can help to minimize waste and production costs while increasing quality and efficiency. Next time, we’ll take a look at a couple more cutting-edge (pun intended) techniques that can be utilized to complete your project as efficiently as possible. As your team of experienced structural steel fabricators in Michigan, Sanilac Steel is here to deliver precise products on time, every time. Our experts are here to help every step of the way, from steel structure design to fabrication to installation. Contact us today to learn more or to receive a quote for your upcoming project!