How metal water jet cutting worksTDB Machining
How metal water jet cutting works:
Waterjet Cutting is a Sheet Metal Fabrication process where a high-pressure jet of water is used to perform cuts in a metal sheet. This process differentiates itself from Plasma Cutting and Laser Cutting mainly because it doesn’t generate heat in the cutting process, preventing the cut material from being affected by thermal-related processes.
How does Waterjet Cutting work?
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.
Metal water jet cutting is a machining process that utilizes a high-pressure jet of water mixed with abrasive particles to cut through various types of metal. Here’s a general overview of how metal water jet cutting works:
Water Supply: The process begins with a water supply system that pumps water at extremely high pressure. Typically, water pressures used in water jet cutting range from 30,000 to 90,000 pounds per square inch (psi).
Mixing Chamber: The high-pressure water is then directed into a mixing chamber, where abrasive particles are introduced. Commonly used abrasives include garnet and aluminum oxide. The abrasive particles mix with the water to create an abrasive waterjet stream.
The process is a hyper-accelerated erosion process that is seen as cutting due to the enormous speed of the water stream. How metal water jet cutting works- 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 Waterjet Cutters
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 Waterjet Cutting
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 Waterjet Cutting
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 waterjet cut?
How 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 Waterjet Cutting
- 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 Waterjet Cutting
Waterjet cutting creates cleaner cuts and overall cleaner parts. Because of this, post-processing might be less necessary. How metal water jet cutting works, 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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