What is oxide layer removal?
Lian explains. Last time she discussed the most frequently asked questions about dust extraction. After cutting steel sheets, in addition to metal slag or burrs, there can also arise an oxide layer on the edges of cut steel. This oxide layer can be removed later in the process. In this blog Lian will tell you all about it. Starting with: What is oxide layer removal?
“An oxide layer is the hard layer that remains on the cutting edge after cutting, because the material has reacted with oxygen. This is often the case when plasma and laser cutting steel sheet parts with oxygen. This black-coloured layer of oxide on the cutting edges of the parent material is also called oxide layer or laser oxide. These two terms are often used interchangeably, but all mean the same thing. Also the term ‘mill scale’ is sometimes used, but that is a misunderstanding. The mill scale of a product is located on the top and bottom of the plate part.
Why remove oxide layer?
“An oxide layer on sheet metal parts has several disadvantages. First of all, this layer makes the coatings adhere poorly to the cutting edges. As a result, it can flake off and thus reduce the lifespan of your products. In addition, an oxide layer causes weaker welds and increases the chance of welding defects.
When your products have to be coated or welded, it is therefore necessary to remove the oxide layer.
How to remove oxide layer?
“Removing an oxide layer can be done in various ways. For example, you can grind it away, steel blast it or remove it chemically. Another option is to let the product rust deliberately. This more or less dissolves the oxide layer and can be easily removed by sanding. Nowadays, in addition to these options, there is something new on the market: machines with brushes with a specially developed wire filling. By passing your parts through these machines, they automatically remove the oxide layer. Afterwards, other processes can be carried out, such as rounding off or applying a finish.
To determine the optimal removal method for your products, you need to take into account several factors:
- The thickness of the oxide layer
In general the following can be stated: The thicker the material, the thicker the oxide layer and the more difficult it is to remove.
- The size of your product
In the automatic machines parts can be processed up to a certain size. Do you have a wider or higher product? Then you should look for alternatives.”
With the machines developed by Q-Fin, in combination with the right brushes, you can easily remove this oxide layer of your sheet metal parts up to 1500 mm wide. For this purpose we recommend brushes with a specially developed wire fill. These brushes enable optimal oxide layer removal and guarantee clear metal cutting edges.
In Q-Fin’s machines these brushes can be combined with other machining methods for the optimum result. Discover all the possibilities of our extensive range
The removal of oxide layer is just one of the applications our machines can help you with. In our next blog Lian will tell you all about removing microjoints.