Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  26 Feb 2012

TECHNOLOGY: Unique Cutting Process From Afrox


Recent Western Cape Business News

AFROX has introduced a unique, innovative and cost effective alternative to cutting non-ferrous material, particularly stainless steel and aluminium.

The Water Mist Secondary (WMS) cutting process, developed by US-based Thermal Dynamics and available throughout sub-Saharan Africa exclusively through Afrox, harnesses nitrogen as the primary cutting gas and water mist as the shield gas to achieve high precision cut quality on aluminium and stainless steel. The result is a high quality dross-free cut on stainless and aluminium, at a lower cost per metre than other cutting processes.

Cutting non-ferrous material, especially stainless steel and aluminium, has always been a technological challenge as traditional technologies can be slow and costly,” says Afrox’s Johan Pieterse. “The method selected depends on the accuracy re-quired and the production costs involved.”

The WMS allows cut-ting of non-ferrous materials using nitrogen and water. This process provides extremely high cutting speeds, up to three times faster than standard processes, and excellent quality for a wide range of thicknesses. A vertical cut is achieved without dross or oxidation. At the same time, the use of normal tap water dramatically reduces production costs. Productivity is enhanced and the consumables last longer.”

Pieterse says among the other advantages of the WMS technology are the wide regulation window, which makes quality tuning simple, and the minimal heat-affected zone, which reduces plate distortion and helps with removing the plastic film on thin plate.

The WMS cutting process is applicable to any existing Thermal Dynamics dual-gas plasma cutting torch for automated cutting, provided the specifically de-signed consumables parts are used. The same torch which normally uses oxygen and air for mild steel cutting is supplied with nitro-gen and water for non-ferrous materials cutting.

For lowest cost non-ferrous cutting and unmatched cut quality, the unique WMS process is poised to make a real impact on the southern African industrial market,” he predicts.

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