What Should I Consider Before Buying Waterjet Cutting?

27 Jan.,2022

Pure waterjets can cut soft materials such as rubber, foam and other gasket materials quickly and accurately. Abrasive waterjets can cut virtually any other material in a very wide range of thicknesses.

 

Pure End-Facing Machine can cut soft materials such as rubber, foam and other gasket materials quickly and accurately. Abrasive waterjets can cut virtually any other material in a very wide range of thicknesses:

 

Virtually any metal, including hardened tool steel, stainless steel, aluminum, copper and titanium

Non-tempered glass, including multi-layer laminated safety glass

Composite materials

Laminates

Stones

Most ceramics

 

Water Jet Nozzle

Water Jet Nozzle

What special features do I need?

Waterjet cutting has a number of special features that make it particularly attractive for certain applications.

 

Waterjet cutting requires no heat. This means that complex and intricate parts do not suffer from heat distortion or heat-affected zones that can change the properties of the material. It also means that secondary machining, such as tapping, can be easily performed on waterjet-cut blanks. The waterjet makes very narrow cuts and has very low cutting forces. This gives part designers the freedom to make complex parts that would be virtually impossible to make with conventional manufacturing processes. Very complex shapes and contours can be easily achieved using waterjet cutting. Another benefit when machining expensive materials is the low scrap cost.

 

Advanced motion control allows for the production of precision parts. Traditional waterjets cut parts to within ±0.010" (0.25mm). However, by using mathematical models to account for and correct for the curvature of the naturally occurring errors of moving waterjets, modern high precision waterjets with advanced control systems have parts with typical tolerances of ±0.005" (±125μ). The most advanced systems have computer-controlled taper-compensated cutting heads that can control critical part dimensions to ±0.001" (±25μ) accuracy.

 

Water Jet Cutting Nozzles

Water Jet Cutting Nozzles

What water and waste factors should I consider?

Early waterjets had a reputation for being noisy and dirty. Exposed water jets were noisy, and exposed abrasive water jets threw large amounts of abrasive dust into the air. However, these factors can be eliminated in modern systems by simply cutting under a thin layer of water. The water layer reduces the noise level below that of most machine tools and eliminates dust by retaining particles in the water. Abrasive waterjet machines that cut underwater can be placed anywhere you might place a conventional machine tool. No toxic fumes or smoke are produced, and parts are not contaminated with cutting oil.

 

What are the operating and maintenance costs of a waterjet?

Consumables and maintenance parts for an abrasive waterjet machine cost between $25 and $30 per hour. When working at pressures above 60,000 PSI (4,137 bar), more maintenance is required and unscheduled downtime increases significantly. For this reason, water jet cutters are typically most economical and reliable when operating at 60,000 PSI (4,137 bar) or less.

 

Maintenance items include all parts wetted by high-pressure water and all parts through which abrasive material flows. Nozzle components such as mixing tubes can last 30 to 60 hours, while jewel holes can last over 500 hours and pump seals can be replaced at intervals approaching 1,000 hours.

 

New troubleshooting and maintenance techniques must be learned to run waterjet equipment successfully, but the skills to be learned are not difficult, and thousands of machines are operated and maintained successfully and profitably by their owners and operators.

If you want to get more information about the best water jet products, welcome to contact us today or request a quote.