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  • Oxy-Ace cutting of Al

    When I first learned oxy-ace cutting it was on steel. As I understand Al is ever more reactive with oxygen than steel ... it only weathers better because Al oxide is more size compatable with the base metal than "rust" is with steel.

    So can I use my "intended for steel" oxy-ace cutting torch to cut aluminum??

    Any special precautions or considerations ??

    Maybe Al is so much more reactive it would "explode" instead of burning away cleanly??

    If I can do this, is the standard oxy-ace eye lens shade adequate?

    Bob

  • #2
    Oxy- Acet. cutting of Al

    Bob,

    Bad news.........no. You can melt it but you can't cut it. In some kind of emergency you could use oxy-acet to remove something from something but you would be melting and not making any kind of clean cut. It would just be an unpleasant mess. This is why everybody either has a plasma cutter or wants one, for use on nonferrous metals. With steel, you heat the area to be cut and then apply the cutting oxygen (high pressure), as I understand it, this oxidizes the metal (removes it, creating the kerf or cut).

    Oxy-acet. shade would work for making the mess.

    Dave
    Last edited by Dave Haak; 12-20-2002, 06:50 AM.
    "Some days you're the dog, some days you're the fire hydrant"

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    • #3
      Re: Oxy-Ace cutting of Al

      Originally posted by Bob
      When I first learned oxy-ace cutting it was on steel. As I understand Al is ever more reactive with oxygen than steel ... it only weathers better because Al oxide is more size compatable with the base metal than "rust" is with steel.

      So can I use my "intended for steel" oxy-ace cutting torch to cut aluminum??

      Any special precautions or considerations ??

      Maybe Al is so much more reactive it would "explode" instead of burning away cleanly??

      If I can do this, is the standard oxy-ace eye lens shade adequate?

      Bob
      Sorry. I missed your question and it's a good one. There is a trick to use a acetylene torch to cut stainless, and it may just work on aluminum, too(but still not very well).... That is to feed a steel rod, 1/8" or better into the cutting flame... the molten steel will blow out the non oxidizing material. It takes a little practice to get it just right, but it can be done. On stainlless, you can weld a bead of mild steel on top and cut through it. They taught us this in the Army, but then you're dodging bullets, too...

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