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RE: Torch Cutting Steel

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See below.

Harold Sprague, PE
Krawinkler, Luth & Assoc.


-----Original Message-----
From:	Serroels, Chris/SAC [SMTP:CSerroel(--nospam--at)CH2M.com]
Sent:	Thursday, June 25, 1998 10:46 AM
To:	'SEAOC'
Subject:	Torch Cutting Steel

I have a project where we are cutting off a portion of the bottom of a
steel tower to install
a taller bearing.  I am wondering what effect the torching will have on
the steel that remains.
Will the heat generated by torching have a detrimental effect?
[Harold Sprague]  The heat will only have a very localized effect on normal carbon structural steel.  The only adverse effect is on heat treated or alloy steels.  Keep in mind that ox-acetylene cutting is a high temperature chemical reaction, and not a melting process.  As opposed to air-arc or plasma arc.

Other engineers have suggested that during torching the only significant
heat generation
occurs when burning the initial hole.  Once the cut is initiated the
heat dissipates quickly.
Is this an accurate assessment?
[Harold Sprague]  Yes.

What other options exist?  I heard of a method called air-arc'ing but am
unfamiliar with it.
[Harold Sprague]  Air arc is a process by which you use a carbon electrode and strike the arc and melt the metal.  Compressed air is blown on the molten metal clearing it from the cut. 

Chris

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