How Metal Water Jet Cutting WorksTDB Machining
How Metal Water Jet Cutting Works
This Sheet Metal Manufacturing works by applying a highly pressurized stream of water or water-abrasive mix into a material sheet to cut it into freeform shapes.
The process is a hyper-accelerated erosion process that is seen as cutting due to the enormous speed of the water stream. A hydraulic pump forces water through a pipe system that feeds pressure into the stream until it is finally propelled through a ruby, sapphire, or diamond nozzle, which hyper-focuses water into a laser-thin and powerful water jet. This process makes this fabrication capable of cutting a remarkable variety of materials.
Types of Metal Water Jet Cutting Works
Depending on the strength of the material to be cut, it might or not be necessary to add an abrasive agent into the water stream to power up the cutting power.
Pure Metal Water Jet Cutting Works
Only water is used in this process. The pressure added into the stream is powerful enough to cut through softer materials like rubber, foam, leather, and some softer plastics and metals.
Abrasive Metal Water Jet Cutting Works
When there’s a need to cut more rigid materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, or brass, an abrasive is added to the highly pressurized cutting mix. The most common add-on materials are silicon carbide, aluminum oxide, sand, and garnet, the latter being the most used.
What materials can a Metal Water Jet Cutting Works
Waterjet cutting is one of the most versatile manufacturing methods. Thanks to its nature, its cutting capacity doesn’t depend on the material but on the pressure and abrasive added into the water stream, making it ideal for cutting from foam to stone and metals up to 300 mm in thickness.
Benefits and Limitations of Metal Water Jet Cutting Works
- Great edge quality
- Material versatility
- No heat produced
- Minimum kerf
- Cutting time
- Greater thickness, less clean the cut
- Single-piece production costs
Post-processing and finishing after Metal Water Jet Cutting Works
Waterjet cutting creates cleaner cuts and overall cleaner parts. Because of this, post-processing might be less necessary. However, post-processing and finishing processes are available too, depending on your project’s needs.
Some common processes are:
- Deburring: To remove any resulting sharp or rough edges.
- Sanding: To smooth out any rough or uneven surfaces.
- Polishing: To create a high-gloss finish on the metal.
- Painting: To add color to the metal or to protect it from corrosion.
- Anodizing: To create a protective oxide layer on the surface of the metal.
- Welding: To fuse two or more metal parts together.
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