Okolona, Kentucky
1250 Old Fern Valley Rd.
Louisville, KY 40219
(502) 634-4321

A Guide to the Burning Method of Metal Processing February 12, 2020

Okolona, Central Jefferson
A Guide to the Burning Method of Metal Processing, Central Jefferson, Kentucky

Metal processing is the practice of mechanically shaping the material or placing designs on it with machine tools. These are many methods of doing so, such as burning, shearing, sawing, and punching. Here are the three main types of metal burning.

3 Methods of Metal Burning

1. Laser

A laser that emits a narrow, high-energy beam is the most common method of metal processing because of its low cost and ease of use. Using carbon dioxide (CO2) and neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG), these lasers are most effective for shaping steel and etching intricate patterns into pieces of metal. Incredible precision and smooth finishes are the results.

2. Oxy-Fuel

In this metal processing method, torches burn gases at high temperatures and pressures to melt away thick metals from the cutting surface. Any flammable gas can be used, such as hydrogen, acetylene, and gasoline, but it usually involves a mixture of propane and oxygen because they burn easier and hotter.

This method is considered the most efficient way to burn metals because it’s portable, but the edges can appear rough and molten. Due to the intense heat, thin metals can warp, so it’s most effective on material thicker than 1/2 of an inch.

3. Plasma

Metal processingThis method launches inert gas at high speeds through a small hole that’s electrically charged, causing a plasma beam to burn at intensely hot temperatures. Inert gases comprise the “noble gases” category on the periodic table; they don’t undergo a chemical reaction usually, which means they are stable and safe to use.

Since plasma melts metal at elevated speeds, it’s perfect for any project that needs to be completed with little prep time. The torches need a large amount of high-pressure air to work correctly and work best on thin materials ranging from 1/2 of an inch to - 3/8 of an inch. The average plasma cutter is either handheld or machine-mounted. Hi-definition, or fine, plasma cutters provide ideal surface finishes thanks to their computer-controlled accuracy.


If you need a metal supplier out of Louisville, KY, or Cincinnati, OH, consult American Metal Supply today to help your business expand. Whether you need raw materials or products finished with the metal processing of your choice, this regional distributor will meet your needs and exceed your expectations. With multiple high-quality products for all your needs, they stock aluminum, structural steel, sheet metal, and more. Their new and improved website gives you access to their inventory and reference data. Call (502) 634-4321 for their Louisville location or (513) 396-6600 to reach their Cincinnati location.

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