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Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/02/2017 8:33 PM

Guys

need options on what method to cut 1.5 mm thick stainless Steel in a Zone 2 gas production area, so I do not generate a spark.

I need to make 3 cuts, two cuts downwards about 6 inches long, the third, horizontally joining the previous two cuts to remove a section 6 by 12.

I did think of a nibbler.. but not sure if there is one capable of cutting S/s

Thanks

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#1

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/02/2017 8:36 PM

Water jet might work.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/02/2017 9:02 PM

it might but a bit to complex and expensive. I need to keep is as simple as possible.

but thanks for the suggestion

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#3

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/02/2017 9:35 PM
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#5
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/02/2017 9:58 PM

many thanks for that!! Will be contacting them asap

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#6
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/02/2017 10:16 PM

Nice find...

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#26
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/04/2017 2:50 PM

Really interesting! But even after downloading the brochure, I saw no explanation for what it is that makes their cutting process spark-free, beyond lower speed.

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#27
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/04/2017 3:33 PM

it cuts the material in the same way that a hacksaw or a end mill would. chips but no burning.

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#4

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/02/2017 9:46 PM

These might work...

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#13
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/03/2017 12:33 PM

Hey $10. up to 18 ga steel.... that would be 1.27mm

https://www.micromark.com/Sheet-Metal-Shear

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#14
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/03/2017 1:17 PM

What about that extra 0.23 mm he needs to cut through, and it is stainless steel. It is a nice looking tool to have though. Everyone should have one.

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#15
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/03/2017 3:04 PM

..."The wall is 1 mm to 1.5mm thick (to be confirmed)"...

It might just slip in under the wire....even if it's only good for this one time use, still pretty cheap...

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#16
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/03/2017 3:21 PM

For
$10

one

could hardly

go wrong.

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#20
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/04/2017 4:06 AM

The blades in those are replaceable, even if you got through a couple it would be OK. They are a bit hard on the hands with thicker steel & you need to drill about a 10mm pilot hole if you are not starting at the edge. Easy to use & no panel distortion.

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#17
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/03/2017 7:19 PM

Maybe we could figure how to put an eccentric mechanism on that lever so a motor could be used...

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#23
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/04/2017 8:56 AM

Look, as eccentric as I may be, I am just not going over there. period.

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#7

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/02/2017 11:00 PM

Some type of shears as mention earlier, not sure what material type your cutting, pipe I assume.

but you could talk to these guys... or people that bought their (portable water jets) machines. I know they do throw sparks at times though, but maybe if you don't use garnet.. it's a long shot especially with 1-1/2" stainless.

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#8
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/03/2017 12:02 AM

mm ≠ inch

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#10
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/03/2017 7:06 AM

oh,... good thing I'm not working for nasa.

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#11
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/03/2017 12:25 PM

Nah, you would fit right in! LOL!

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#9

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/03/2017 6:28 AM

I need to cut into the side of a S/S enclosure as a modification. As I said there are 3 cuts to be made 2 vertical and one horizontal between the two vertical ones to remove a piece of the S/S enclosure wall.

Why am I making such a strange mod? There is an existing aperture, I need to make is bigger by cutting out the size of section I mentioned

Shears might be a solution if I'm not allowed to use the 'no sparks' grinder. My first option!

The wall is 1 mm to 1.5mm thick (to be confirmed)

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#28
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 producion area

10/04/2017 3:35 PM

why not use a sawzall?

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#12

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/03/2017 12:26 PM

Have you considered tenting the area to affect the zone, and exclude gas? I not sure if there is a proper safety protocol standard for that, but it could be an option?

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#18

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/03/2017 11:45 PM

Get a gas detector, a hacksaw and a water spray bottle as a mister and two guys to help. One to hold the GD and one to mist the cut point while you SLOWLY work your way thru the material.

NEC Zone 2 is only "hot" potential, but not under normal operating conditions and if so, only for short periods of time usually associated with an upset production circumstance.

If you're cutting into a vessel or pipework, it should be inserted usually with nitrogen first.

The facility permit to work system requirements should be clear on such SIMOP conditions, inclusive of any lockout and isolation requirements for the system you are intervening upon.

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#19
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/03/2017 11:56 PM

Correction: * inerted* with nitrogen...(dumb smart phone, sorry)

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#22
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/04/2017 7:18 AM

Get a gas detector, a hacksaw and a water spray bottle as a mister and two guys to help. One to hold the GD and one to mist the cut point while you SLOWLY work your way thru the material.

Last resort, if I have to... but trying to avoid it as I got 8 of the beauties to do.

I'm cutting into the side panel/wall of a 6ft by 12 ft by 3 ft S/S enclosure to retro-fit a new and smaller Zone 2 A/C unit.

Thank you for the refresher on the zones.. never hurts to state them.

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#21

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/04/2017 5:06 AM

Hand held nibbler is the way to go. The $10 version suggested so far is only good for 1.2mm mild steel. (i.e about 1mm on 304 and 0.8mm on 316) Facom do a beefed up version that I use on 2mm 316 when making metal sculptures. Model 887A £72 on Ebay.

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#24

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/04/2017 9:35 AM
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#25
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/04/2017 1:20 PM

Awesome if I need to grind stone or concrete!!

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#29
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/04/2017 3:41 PM

What I was suggesting is a saw or cutting tool that has a water cooling device attached.

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#30

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/04/2017 9:06 PM

Keep in mind that many tools like the previously mentioned Sawzall have motors that can generate sparks. Air driven drills and reciprocating saws are great. Also, it has been a while since I've had to cut SS. Does it spark like steel and iron?

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#31
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/05/2017 4:03 AM

Yes, it sparks. It is steel with a little chrome thrown in. (That's an oversimplification)

Spark testing - Wikipedia

I think sparks generated by Ti are the most impressive, as they are bright white.

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#32

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/05/2017 7:49 AM

Mask the area you want as finished part, connect to an anode wire and hang in a salt solution tank, Take one more steel part part as a cathode, control the current and wait for some time.

Note- masking to be done little more then what is final size of part, this is to avoid the material lost due to undercutting.

You can search more on electro-chemical machining, to get the high degree of precision.

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#33
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/05/2017 11:20 AM

I have never, ever attempt to cut metal in that way, but I can see that with a velocity jet, it could be more effective.

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#34
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/05/2017 1:21 PM

Not sure what qty and level of quality is OP looking for.

Water jet surely can work, and even may work better. But need a sophisticated machine with X.Y table and control unit.

Masked electrolysis is cheep and dirty solution with a reasonable level of accuracy. user may need to throw couple of initial PCs to set the process working.

Ultimately process should be chosen with considerations like-

Purpose of making part. (for initial concept, prototyping, or mass volume production supply etc) and level of precision required in part.

From the OP statement, it looks like that He is trying to make few parts in an area which is not designated for manufacturing of same, and therefore it looks like an irregular items that being made for idea validation

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#35
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/05/2017 1:47 PM

I think he is wanting to cut an opening in a wall to a restricted (combustibility) zone in a refinery, for the purposes of installing an AC unit.

Probably, some critical instrumentation (already perhaps intrinsically safe) is housed beyond that wall, and is overheating?

This may limit what can be sprayed where.

Another option we have all discussed would be a gas-blanketing zone where the work is being done, but it requires extreme measures, and workers in SCBA.

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#36
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/05/2017 2:41 PM

I'm He's "cutting into the side panel/wall of a 6ft by 12 ft by 3 ft S/S enclosure to retro-fit a new and smaller Zone 2 A/C unit ".

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#37
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/05/2017 3:16 PM

I think I already had seen that, thanks for pointing it out again, brother.

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#38

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/06/2017 9:24 AM

I have been getting feeds like (nibbler) this for a while,... then they stopped. One just came in.

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#39
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/06/2017 12:39 PM

Wow! That is impressive! I didn't see a source...

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#40
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/06/2017 4:18 PM

Really elegant solution to the need. Way to go bro!

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#41
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/06/2017 5:34 PM

I had to look that one up! Here's one source:https://gadgetsandcoolstuff.com/products/professional-sheet-metal-nibbler-tool-the-pronibbler-drill-attachment?variant=48996057999

I don't do much sheet metal, but based on the video, the unit will pay for itself ($40) in a single use!

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#43
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/07/2017 9:43 AM

With stainess, the capabilities usually drop to 75%. i.e., if it can cut 0.100" thick mild steel material, for Stainless it would cut 0.075" material.

2.5 mm = 0.098"

Again, i don't know what the capability of this tool is though.

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#44
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/07/2017 10:49 AM

I hadn't yet seen where the OP upped the thickness to 2.5mm SS, and I don't believe he has specified yet (if he even knows) which grade of SS. Cutting that thickness of any SS is hardly trivial.

I'd start by finding out who makes that pro nibbler; there may well be a heavy duty version. Since he says he's got 8 of these units to do, it's worth doing some serious investigation (as he is doing by starting here).

A tedious, but workable, possibility would be multiple uses of a rectangular Greenlee punch (hopefully a hydraulic one). Of course this would require drilling a series of holes, but as long as the drill speeds are kept low, there should be no sparking and not a lot of heat. In fact, this could be a good idea for doing the corners first when using other cutting methods.

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#45
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/07/2017 10:59 AM

the grade is 316L

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#46
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/07/2017 4:33 PM

My mistake, 1.5mm

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#47
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/07/2017 5:44 PM

No, not your mistake! In the original post, and one other, Brich said 1.5mm, but in post #42, he said 2.5mm confirmed, and in#45 he said it is 316L. That is a major enclosure!

And while I'm here, I did a bit of looking, and was amazed to find hole punches and nibblers from well under $10 (but not for 2.5mm 316L SS), up to a couple of thousand dollars...

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#56
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/10/2017 11:14 AM

It should not be too difficult to affix that to a center pivot and cut circular patterns (think Tesla turbine discs). That would be a great deal cheaper than having them stamped out in a short run setup.

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#42

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/07/2017 6:09 AM

Its now confirmed that the thickness of the stainless steel enclosure is 2.5 mm.

The enclosure does indeed have delicate instruments installed close to the output of the existing A/C unit, making a jet cutter impossible.

I still am not getting any joy with the 'no spark' grinding/cutting.. if anyone know of a nibbler that can cut 2.5 mm S/s, I'm all ears, as my efforts to find something suitable even a reciprocating no spark saw would do right now.

I thank you all for your answers...

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#51
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/09/2017 3:56 AM

OK at that thickness, this will do the job.

https://www.amazon.com/Makita-JN3201-10-Gauge-Nibbler/dp/B00LP499FM/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_469_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=R6MV7NE7CS2VPH223C9R

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#57
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Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/10/2017 11:21 AM

I checked, and concur that if the claims of 13 ga. stainless steel are correct, the tool you linked will do the job(s) in short order, and do them safely.

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#48

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/08/2017 10:52 PM

One time, or ongoing?

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#49

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/09/2017 12:54 AM

I have a Dewalt 18 volt jigsaw with a good Lenox 18 tooth metal cutting blade would do that in 5 minutes, I do all the time. It won't spark and the blade will last forever if you keep the speed low. The saw is variable speed, real slow (like one stroke in 10 seconds if you want) and has a variable orbit (set it to no orbit or just a little). Stainless steel need to be cut or drilled slowly with a good amount of force on the tool or it work hardens. Drill a starter hole with a step bit (slow speed, like 100 rpm) to get started. A step bit doesn't have any lead angle on it so when it cuts thin materials it doesn't pull itself through. If you can put a spot of cutting wax on the blade all the better, if it smokes you are running the blade too fast. If you can't live with the hole you can flip the saw upside down and carefully plunge the blade.

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#50

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/09/2017 3:44 AM

There are air driven nibblers that will handle the thickness and can be started through a drilled hole, for cheap!

https://www.harborfreight.com/16-gauge-air-nibbler-96661.html

https://www.amazon.com/16-Gauge-Air-Nibbler/dp/B00678184G

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#52
In reply to #50

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/09/2017 10:12 AM

16 gauge SS is 0.0625" thick. This stuff is 0.0985" thick. A heavier tool is required.

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#53
In reply to #52

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/09/2017 10:14 AM

If in fact its 2.5MM.

For nibblers, 0.0625 SS would still be tough to cut.

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#58
In reply to #52

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/10/2017 1:13 PM

Did you miss my other post? This tool handles 10 gage.

https://www.amazon.com/Makita-JN3201-10-Gauge-Nibbler/dp/B00LP499FM/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_469_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=R6MV7NE7CS2VPH223C9R

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#60
In reply to #58

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/10/2017 2:31 PM

10 gauge what? Stainless or Mild Steel. For stainless you cut its capacity to about 75% of Mild Steel.

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#61
In reply to #60

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/10/2017 2:59 PM

10 gage thickness is about .14" thickness. 2.5mm is about .098"

I cut a lot of stainless. A new punch cutter nibbler rated on steel will cut the same thickness in sheet stainless, particularly with a few drops of the cutting lubricant called Mistic Metal Remover.

But by your own numbers (75%) 10 gage capacity rated for sheet steel exceeds the necessary power to cut .098" stainless.

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#54

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/09/2017 4:20 PM

If you really wanted to go to town get a Modern nibbler, it's 1 hp and will chop through 12 ga stainless steel all day long. If you are concerned about chips getting into things, a nibbler will make thousands of sharp crescent shaped chips that you won't be able to clean up with a magnet.

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#59
In reply to #54

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/10/2017 1:17 PM

316 stainless is non-magnetic.

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#55

Re: Cutting Stainless Steel in a Zone 2 Production Area

10/10/2017 9:13 AM

Here is the good idea: use a tool (ex: grinder) with air power, and do not forget to use water if necessary.

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