Whether it is on site or in a recycling plant, it happens often that we have to cut material in order to facilitate the processing for scrap or recycling. Several tools are available on the market but there is one that is quite different by its ease of use compared to the other options: exothermical cutting tubes. These tubes differ in several ways compared to the other cutting methods, whether it is by the required equipment, the activation process or the ease of use. Additionally, it can be used for applications that will save a lot of time and problems for those who are doing excavator maintenance.
In order to use the tubes, the required equipment is: the gun that supports the tubes, an oxygen tank and a 12 volt battery (Nautical battery is suggested for its durability). There is not a lot of equipment to bring on site, no compressor is necessary, no welder or acetylene tank to move.
In order to start the process, which resembles welding with covered electrode, we must create a starting arc by touching a metal plate where the current flows. When the arc is initiated, it is the oxygen that starts the exothermical reaction. Following the reaction, the cutting power will be sustained with the oxygen and the burning tube. The operator can start his cutting job very quickly, which would not be the case with an oxy acetylene torch.
This process is much more interesting to use for the operator because it allows much more freedom and has less inconveniences. You can cut several types of alloys including cast iron and you can even pierce it ! It is also important to notice that it is much less noisy than the carbon electrode process, so no need to wear ear plugs and no disturbing of all the people surrounding your work place. Also, this cutting tube will not let any trace of carbon in the fusion bead, should you make the mistake of pulling instead of pushing with the tube, like with the carbon electrode process. For those who know the carbon electrode process, they are aware that they will lose a lot of grinding time if there is carbon deposit in the weld bead. This process will also create much less toxic fumes than the carbon electrode. The exothermical cutting tubes allow you more freedom and brings less trouble in the utilization for you and your colleagues.
This cutting method is the perfect way to take out stuck pins in the articulations of excavators’ arm. When a pin is stuck, it can take hours if not days to take it out. Sometimes the tactics used could even break the equipment, aside from not being safe. With the cutting tubes, the goal is to pierce the pin in its center in order to overheat the part and then, to cool it down with water in order to shrink it. Afterword, we can take it out more easily and proceed in the maintenance of the equipment.
Whether you are in demolition, recycling, excavation or you are responsible for field maintenance, this cutting tool will be very useful.