21 Mar 2019

There are many factors behind the success of Bisalloy Steels, Australia’s only manufacturer of high strength and high hardness quenched and tempered steel plate. One of these is the partnerships the company forms with key suppliers.

Smetec Cutting Services, a Shoalhaven-based business with 15 years’ experience in the materials cutting field is a good example. Though its metal cutting capabilities extend from water jet cutting to fibre laser custom cutting, in terms of its relationship
with Bisalloy, the business focuses solely on water jet cutting.

According to Justin Suwart, Bisalloy Business Manager – Armour, Bisalloy uses Smetec for its specialty BISALLOY® Armour grades.

“Normally we use a thermal cutting method – plasma or oxy-plasma or high definition plasma or laser –  for our BISALLOY® Wear grade plate,” he said. “However, in the case of BISALLOY® Armour grade plate, those techniques create a lot of heat, which can adversely affect the mechanical and ballistic properties of the plate.”

This is particularly the case for intricate components. While the water jet cutting takes a little bit longer than thermal methods, it doesn’t produce any heat. This means the process has no negative impact. The result, after cutting, is a pristine part without any heat affected zones that otherwise would have to be dressed at the edges.

“This can be an issue, particularly with the high-grade armour with hardness of 500 or more,” said Justin.

An environmentally friendly process, water jet cutting can reduce power and water costs by up to 60 per cent. Smetec is able to cut a variety of materials including steel, titanium, glass, stone, copper, brass, nickel and more, up to a thickness of 200 mm.