Engineering FAQs


2.2.1. What methods are available for cutting steel and what is the corresponding range of utility for each?

The following methods are commonly used to cut steel: 

  1. Friction sawing, which is performed with a high-speed rotary blade, is commonly used by steel producers and is limited only by machine size. This cutting method, however, is no longer commonly used in fabrication shops.

  2. Cold sawing, whether by rotary saw, hack saw, or band saw, is limited only by machine size.

  3. Oxygen-acetylene (and related fuel) flame cutting, which can be mechanically or hand-guided, is commonly used for general cutting and edge preparation operations, such as coping, beveling, notching, etc.; its utility is virtually unlimited.

  4.  Plasma cutting, which is mechanically guided, is generally useful for cutting plate of up to 3/4-in. thickness.

  5. Laser cutting, which is mechanically guided, is generally useful for cutting plate; thickness limitations vary.

  6. Shearing, which is performed with mechanical presses, is generally useful for cutting plates and angles and is limited only by machine size and capacity.

Additional minor material removal and finishing may also be accomplished by one of the methods listed in 2.2.2

last modified 17 July 2002