Exothermic Cutting

The burning bar is a steel pipe filled with alloyed wires that is the fuel. When the end of the burning bar is heated to its kindling temperature and has pure oxygen injected into the pipe a chemical reaction occurs and the fuel wires go exothermic. The exothermic reaction creates a fire that burns at 7,200 to 7,400 degrees f. For comparison, an Oxy / Fuel Gas torch burns at just under 5,000 degrees f.

Just as Oxy / Fuel Gas torches have different Tip sizes ranging from # 000 up to # 10 tip we manufacture our burning bars is a variety of sizes ranging from .250” od up to our largest burning bar a 1.05” od.

The tip temperature is the same whether you are using a .250” od or a 1.05” od burning bar. The difference is in the Volume (BTU’s) of heat being produced. Just as with an Oxy / Fuel Gas cutting torch if you are using a # “000” tip it will flow 1 to 2 cubic feet of fuel gas per hour and produce very low BTU’s. If you are using a # 10 tip it will flow 50 to 100 cubic feet of fuel gas per hour. The BTU’s of heat produced by the # 10 tip will be as much as 30 to 40 times the volume of heat produced by the smaller tip. The thicker the material being cut the larger the tip size and volume of fuel and oxygen needed. It is the same with Burning Bars.

With the Burning Bar cutting process the Burning Bar is the fuel so if you are comparing the process to Oxy Fuel Gas torches our .250” od Sure Cut Rod would be the equal to the # “000” tip fuel consumption of 1.5 SCFH, the 1.05” od would be about the same volume of fuel as a # 10 tip 100 SCFH. Volume of Fuel determines the BTU’s produced. The larger the diameter of the Burning Bar the more fuel thus the higher BTU’s


Because of the high tip temperature and the volume of heat (BTU’s) produced a burning bar can cut from 5 to 20 times faster than a regular Oxy Fuel Gas torch. Burning Bars require no pre-heating or cleaning of the material. They can cut through rusty, dirty, painted material or material that is encased in concrete with relative ease. For example piercing through 10” thick steel could take 10 to 20 minutes to preheat to the point that a hole can be pierced through it. We have pierced 10” thick plate in as little as 15 seconds. 

Burning Bars can cut material that will not oxidize like Aluminum Bronze propellers, Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Titanium, Copper and Brass. Cast Iron can be cut with Burning Bars but the speed of the cut will depend on the Carbon Content, Type and hardness of the casting.