Cold cutting – what is it?

What is cold cutting?

Cold cutting is a method of cutting metal, usually pipes, that has been developed in recent years and is primed to take over the traditional methods of ‘hot’ cooking as the most efficient tool available for cutting metal.

Cold cutting machine tools are designed to cut pipe – or any other material – without applying serious levels of heat that could potential damage the subject material. Hot cutting uses an open flame torch to cut the pipe and then requires the extra step of hand grinding to ensure the material is ready to be welded into position.

cold cutting in action

The problem is, hand grinding is a time consuming and laborious task, which involves ‘interring’ the material to prevent combustion. Cold cutting was first invented in 1949, but has only reached its peak utility in recent years; the premise of the method is to remove the torch from the process of cutting. First and foremost this obviously has substantial health and safety benefits.

Safety is the first priority of any industry and one of the main marketing points about cold cutting saws is that they’re inherently much safer than the alternative thermal options. Some companies and even countries have specified that certain industries must only use cold cutting saws to ensure the safety of their employees.

Another significant advantage to the cutting process when using cold tools over thermal ones is they prevent the creation of Heat Affected Zones. Applying extreme temperature to anything is always going to leave to alter the material in some way; when applied to metal it changes the molecular structure of the material itself, often resulting in a detrimental effect when trying to create solid structures.

Time and money are the final advantages of using cold cutting methods. They go hand in hand-in-hand in all industrial operations. As cold cutting methods don’t cause potential problems such as molecular damage it means when the piping or any other material is in place, it is less likely to become damaged or needs maintenance.

Time is also often vital when carrying out an infrastructure of civil engineering projects, as often areas need to be closed to the general public, which puts pressure on the workers to get the work done as quickly as possible. Therefore, not having to take extra safety precautions, hand grinding, or cooling, means that any task can be completed much quicker when using cold cutting.

Tube Man offers many different cold cutting services, including water jet on steel, concrete or water jet cutting of composites. Tubetech has taken cold cutting services to a new level by introducing contact free cutting methods involving extremely high pressured water, all of which saves the valuable three of safety, time and money. This technique is known as: abrasive water jet cold cutting.

Additionally, using Tech Man water based cold cutting systems you gain the additional benefits of the ability to work underwater, low reactive forces, no dust at all, and the most precise cutting available anywhere. All of this means you’ll be preserving the structural integrity of the material which needs cutting.