There are diverse factors that you should consider before choosing pipe cutting machines for your commercial fabrication project. The fundamental aspects include the pipe materials, potential wall thickness and end-conditioning requirements. You should also evaluate the equipment's production volume, initial costs, operational expenses and cutting efficiency.
Here are the main cutting techniques that you should consider when choosing for a machine:
This is a basic technique which utilises manual methods to cut pipes into predefined lengths. An abrasive machine utilises a circular blade or a resin composite wheel to grind through the pipe material. The technique is quite effective but the cutting diameter capabilities will depend on the specific equipment selected.
Abrasive cutting is ideal for small operations where hand-loading is possible and there are no critical dimensions. It is an economical choice and can be operated by individuals without extensive mechanical skills. The main drawback is that precision is limited since the machines cannot provide tight tolerances or even square cuts. Moreover, it is not suitable for cutting heavy-duty pipes and you may need to perform de-burring tasks.
Band Saw Cutting
This is an automated technique which can be utilised in cutting pipes, tubes and rods. The machine is designed as a continuous rotating band of metal with varying teeth configurations. You can choose a saw that cuts horizontally or vertically depending on your desired results and the pipe-cutting requirements. It is important to note that the capabilities of band saw equipment will vary between different models.
For instance, some have CNC features while others are only automated mechanically. This technique is ideal for cutting most types of material but they are inefficient for thin-walled pipes.
Laser cutting machines are generally more costly than alternatives but they have diverse benefits. The systems utilise concentrated heat energy to perform the cutting tasks so the distortion of the pipe is minimal and burrs are not formed.
Laser equipment can also easily incorporate CNC technology which improves the accuracy allowing very tight dimension tolerances to be attained. This is an ideal choice if you work with hard materials such as titanium, stainless steel and nickel alloys.
Lathe cutting machines are ideal for operations that require high volume production. This technique is primarily used to cut pipes to length using tools mounted on the equipment's cross slides. Lathe cutting produces the best results when used on thin-walled materials but the capabilities will vary depending on the model. The primary limitation is that the equipment can only cut round objects.