Did you know that waterjets were first used in the United States in the 1970s? They were mainly used for cleaning applications. Through the years, abrasive waterjets developed, which allowed accurate cutting of hard materials.
Today, global waterjet cutting is one of the fastest-growing processes in the world because of advanced technologies like 3D cutting and multi-axis waterjets, according to Allied Market Research.
Read more about the power of waterjets and how they can do things that other cutting technologies can’t.
Waterjets use nozzles to carry high pressure, fine streams of water and garnet to cut materials. The garnet typically has a Moh hardness of 6.5 to 7.5. This means it can cut through any materials softer than the garnet.
Abrasive waterjets are able to cut many materials of varying thicknesses, such as metal, titanium, glass, hardened steel, ceramics, plastic, stone, and rubber.
For example, a waterjet can cut through a 4-inch slab of titanium with a 50,000 PSI stream of water and garnet-laced grit, which travels 700 mph.
To give you an idea of how powerful waterjets are, check these pounds per square inch (PSI) comparisons:
As you can see, the pressure of the water makes a huge difference for various applications. Waterjets usually have water pressure from 50,000 to 90,000 PSI. The nozzle horsepower creates various water pressures for cutting.
High-pressure pumps supply the water to the waterjet nozzle. The reason the water stream is powerful is that as it flows out of the waterjet nozzle at very high velocity, the aerodynamic drag acts as a boundary for the stream.
This slows down the water and causes it to spread. Inside this spreading water is the core that sends the primary energy when it hits the hard surface you’re cutting.
The length of the core depends on which nozzle you’re using and flow conditions. If you’re using a poorly designed nozzle, it can result in poor upstreams that cause the stream to break up after leaving the nozzle. It’s important to use high-quality waterjet nozzles for all your cutting applications.
As the water travels beyond the pressure cone, it breaks up into separate droplets. These drops still have the force and can be productive, but they’ll be less precise. For example, the droplets would still be beneficial for commercial cleaning at low pressure.
Most waterjet machines require the following parts to produce high-velocity water jets and smooth cuts:
These are the essential components of most waterjets but some machines feature upgrades and control retrofit kits. Also, some waterjets feature an economical single-intensifier pump while dual intensifier pumps give you increased operating performance.
At one time, waterjets required complicated programming and experienced users, which is why they weren’t used in many industries. Today, using waterjet use is common and easier because of software enhancements. Waterjet software makes it easier for less experienced users to cut and machine parts with abrasive waterjet cutting.
CAD/CAM software can help you calculate the cutting motions, custom designs, and layouts. The software creates drawings that don’t have any overlapping lines. It also creates layers for inside or outside cuts, cutting on a line, etching, engraving, and water only cutting.
Some software has 3D modeling for the most efficient cutting. The software also lets you design your own 2D or 3D cutting files. You can preview your cuts and the software will check for any problems. This helps make your application easier and accurate.
You can use several types of waterjet nozzles and cutting heads depending on your project. Here are a few of waterjet nozzle styles used in the mining, farming, automotive, construction aerospace and glass industries:
These nozzles deliver different pressures and flow rates for your cutting project and operating conditions.
One of the important benefits of waterjet cutting is it can cut materials without damaging their structure. This is crucial when cutting materials with heat sensitivity. The following list describes other benefits of waterjets:
These are just a few of the benefits of using waterjets for cutting. You can easily modify them for whatever application you need. Waterjets for sale are available from manufacturers all over the world, for example, waterjets in Sweden, and Belize.
Waterjet cutting has many advantages over other cutting methods. Waterjets save you time and money by cutting through just about any material and thickness without creating a heat-affected zone, case hardening or molecular changes. Waterjet cuts also don’t create any noxious fumes.
So, increase your productivity with less machining time, high-quality cuts and less waste material.
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