What is Cold cutting?
Cold cutting refers to cutting without heat or sparks and is often performed in hazardous environments such as Atex gas zones. (New tab, and in Norwegian)
There are many different tools for performing cold cutting, and it depends on the type of material you are going to cut.
Often, the usage of huge specialized machines for cold cutting jobs is discussed.
This article focuses more on handheld tools’ different usages, particularly cold cutting in Atex environments.
Cold cutting – Material aspects
There are many different types of steel and titanium, and these have different material propositions. There are no tools that can “do it all,” but we might be very close. Some of the most common steel types are carbon steel and stainless steel. We have listed an article with more information about steel here. (Opens in a new tab)
These are some of the most commonly used steel and titanium material types used in the oil and gas industry:
- Stainless steel Grade 316
- Steel ST52
- ASTM B265 Titanium
- Austenitic stainless steel
Cold cutting in hazardous areas
Most of these materials are often used in the oil and gas industry for liquid and gas transportation. Refineries and FPSO’s that need maintenance needs to shut down their operations and create hot work areas when doing maintenance. There is a new competitor for performing cold cutting in these types of situations, and that is where the cold working tools from Safety Tools Allmet perform the best.
Stainless steel, austenitic stainless steel, and 6MO are three very tough steel types that take a lot of work to cut through. When the steel has higher structural strength, it will generate more heat from cutting tools. Thickness is also a major factor. The thickness really comes to play when you are cutting pipes and other deep structural materials. Conventional cutting tools often have huge problems with cutting disc vibration and squeezing when cutting into the steel at about 40% depth.
The new competitor
Cold cutting and focused on using handheld tools, we find Safety Tools Allmet cold cutting solutions.
These solutions follow ATEX guidelines and are certified safe to use in Ex-gas zones 1 and 2 (dust zones 21 and 22) without a hot work permit.
These cold cutting tools are also cold work certified to cut the steel and titanium material types above, with high effectivity.
This is Safety Tools Allmet most complete cutting suitcase as it includes a dual tool setup and the possibility to use both cutting and weld seam removal discs. This is the tool for you if you need to cut pipe, deck, beams, weld, or any other metal surface while in an explosive environment.
The solution is cold work certified, which means you do not need to cover up adjacent surfaces in the work area because the tools do not produce any hot sparks that can burn through paint coatings. The work area temperature is low, averaging 35-40°celsius (95-105°f) when grinding steel.
If you were to perform a cutting job into a live natural gas pipeline, and you are cutting all the way through the main contents of the pipeline, you are actually cutting into an Atex gas zone 0.
Our cold cutting solutions use water for lubrication which also has the added function of operating as a safety barrier, should the pipeline be cut too deep. There is no risk of ignition under these conditions if you use Safety Tools Allmet cold cutting tools.
Cold cutting benefits – Safety Tools Allmet
by using certified cold cutting tools, you can avoid all the hassle from a Hot Work Permit or Habitats. You can use the tools in hydrocarbon-rich environments, where gas is present without the dangers of using hot work tools. The tools are so cool that you can use them directly in contact with hydrocarbon/gas. Their ability to be used at all times allows the asset owner to recover their investment many times over in as little as a few minutes of use.
The cold cutting tools have endured a long and tough certification process by DNV. They have been proven throughout this testing, and for more than 15 years, they have not triggered an ignition in the toughest environments. Used day in day out in the world’s toughest places, they are a valuable asset for small to medium jobs where mobility and speed are important.
Safety Tools Allmet Cold cutting and Weld Removal Discs are very durable. With an experienced user, our discs will cut and mill approximately 12 meters in length and 8 to 12mm deep if a helping system is used. Such as Cutting Guide Compact, Pendulum Arm, or the Cutting Guide Jr. The lifespan of the disc more than doubles. The water from the water control box acts as a lubricant to add life to our discs. It also brings the cutting solutions down to an Atex T4 rating. (135℃)