When you complete a project with heavy-duty applications, ordinary metals will not do. Truly impressive projects require truly impressive materials to ensure that they hold up over time. Heavy steel plate fits that bill, but it cannot be cut as thinner metals are. At Cd’A Metals, we use plasma steel cutting to cut and shape heavy plate to give you the results you are looking for in half the time.
What Is Heavy Steel Plate?
“Heavy steel plate” qualifies any steel plate material with a thickness of three inches or more. Such thick plate is required for many industrial-grade applications. The most common are building construction equipment and infrastructure construction, but they can branch to even broader fields like mining, automotive construction and repair, and the energy industry.
Because it has to hold up in settings where high force is regular, the thicker steel plate material contains alloys which serve to enhance the hardness and strength properties of the steel. These vary, as to the grades of steel used. Each different grade is best suited for specific applications, though there is some overlap. To give our customers customizable flexibility, we work primarily with the following grades:
- Strenx 100—Known for its impressive strength, this plate is ideal for heavy load-bearing or structural applications.
- Hardox 450 and 500—This wear plate is abrasion-resistant and perfect for dump trucks, excavator buckets, and heavy duty containers. We also recommend it for components such as gears, cutting edges, and sprockets. We partner with Hardox and can vouch for their reliability.
- Weathering A588—This plate requires minimal maintenance because it naturally forms a stable, protective layer of rust around it. It can be used in projects which are prone to get wet, such as the fence between the Spokane River and the Spokane Convention Center, a relatively recent project.
We understand that heavy steel plate is not right for every project, so we also supply plate of less than two inches. Here are just a few examples:
- Stainless plate up to 1/2″ thick
- Aluminum plate up to 1″ thick
- Steel and aluminum floor plate from 1/16″ up to 1/2″ thick
Plasma Steel Cutting
Because it is so thick, using heavy steel plate often rules out several metal-cutting practices. At Cd’A Metals, we favor plasma steel cutting for its ability to slice through heavy plate quickly and cleanly. The natural evolution of plasma welding that was all the rage in the 1960s, plasma cutting is an economical way to cut plate using an accelerated stream of hot plasma via electrically conductive materials.
How It Works
Plasma steel cutting uses the heat that is generated from an electrically ionized gas plasma arc to cut through steel and other materials. The system creates a full electric circuit between the plasma cutting tool and the metal being cut. First, pressurized gas (specific to the project but typically oxygen) is forced through a nozzle at high velocity, applying a highly-concentrated stream directly to the metal.
Within the gas, an electric arc is created between the metal being cut and an electrode that is built into the nozzle of the plasma cutter. In the process, some of the gas is ionized, forming a superheated and electrically-conductive channel of plasma. The circuit is completed with a grounding clamp built into the plasma cutter.
The powerful combination of plasma and pressurized gas sear through the molten metal and blow any residual components away. The ultra-high heat causes the metal to melt as it is shorn or melded together, and the sheer power of the plasma can erase any evidence of the fusion.
Applications of Plasma Steel Cutting
Plasma steel cutting can be used to cut a wide variety of metals, including stainless steel, carbon steel, alloy steel, brass, copper, and aluminum. Because of its versatility, timeliness, cost-effectiveness, and overall efficiency, most metal fabrication professionals will use the method, from industrial corporations to local hobbyist shops.
If you are looking to make meticulous cuts within the budget and project schedule, you can’t go wrong with plasma steel cutting. The method is most commonly applied in manufacturing workshops, auto restoration and repair, salvage and scrapping operations, and industrial construction. Whatever project you have in mind, Cd’A Metals is here to help you complete it.
Cutting Heavy Steel Plate with Cd’A Metals
As part of the Norfolk Iron & Metal group, we at Cd’A Metals have the resources and professional expertise to complete any metal work to your satisfaction. We work in material distribution, including various grades of stainless steel and aluminum, cold-rolled and hot-rolled steel, and wear-resistant steel. We also service metal projects, employing sawing; oxy-fuel, laser, and plasma steel cutting, and press brake formation to make the parts you need. In addition to more straightforward cuts, we can also thread holes. Whatever you need, reach out to Cd’A Metals to handle it.