Abrasive waterjet systems have become increasingly popular in applications such as steel service centres, equipment manufacturers and fabricators due to their cut quality and lack of heat.

However, do you really know how they work and how much pressure is needed for these cutting systems to operate?

Within the below blog, you will find out everything you need to know about the water jet cut process, including exactly how much pressure these high pressure pumps need and how this pressure is the driving force behind their overall efficiency.

How does waterjet cutting work?

Waterjet cutting machines use an ultra-high pressure stream of water to carry an abrasive and pure grit. This abrasive does the job of a mechanical sawing action and results in a smooth and precise cut.

Known as one of the most versatile cutting processes, water jet cutters can cut through a wide range of materials, including stainless steels and glass.

Waterjet cutting machines work with an intensifier pump which creates very high water pressure to cut through even the hardest of materials.

How much pressure is needed to cut materials?

As you would expect, a stream of pure water mixed with an abrasive is not enough to cut through sturdy materials. Instead, it is the speed at which the abrasive hits the plate that facilitates the cutting process. To make the velocity fast enough to cut, the water is pressurised into an ultra-high pressure.

 Typical waterjet cutting pressure is between 50,000 and 60,000 psi. However, you can find new cnc machining that is pressurised up to 90,000 psi. When the water is at this pressure, it is then released through a small orifice in the cutting head. This resulting stream of water is supersonic, which means that it travels faster than the speed of sound and can therefore cut through almost anything.

Plus, these highly efficient cutting machines require very little water, so they are very environmentally friendly.

Why do high levels of pressure matter?

If you are not sure what level of pressure your water jet cutters need to have, then it can be a good idea to find out how high pressure helps the cutting process.

Firstly, the higher the pressure, the higher levels of productivity you can expect. As the pressure increases, so does your cutting speed. At 60,000 psi, the garnet abrasive accounts for over half of the total running cost. However, if you run at 87,000 psi, the abrasive cost falls to less than half.

High pressure also leads to shorter cycle times which means that you can produce more parts per hour and complete more jobs per day.

Furthermore, as the speed of the water stream increases, the quicker the abrasive cuts, and therefore, less abrasive is needed.

Are you ready to invest in a waterjet machine? Do not hesitate to contact us here and let our experienced and friendly team help you make the right choice for your business.

Whether you are not satisfied with your current cut process or you are looking for a faster and more efficient cutting system, there is no denying that waterjet cutting is having its moment.

Using high pressure pumps to cut a wide range of materials, water jet cutters are often mixed with other abrasive particles so that you can enjoy a seamless cut time and time again.

However, are there any downsides to this method of cutting?

Let’s take a closer look at both the advantages and disadvantages of these innovative cutting systems so that you can make the right choice for your business.

Advantages of water jet cutting

More sustainable

If you are looking to make your business more eco-friendly, then you will be happy to hear that waterjet cutting machines are greener than other cutting methods. Not only do they not create any hazardous waste, thanks to the close-looped system, but they also require very little pure water to work.

They can cut through almost anything

Arguably one of the top benefits of water jet cutters when compared to other cutting machines, they can cut through almost any material. These include stainless steels, bullet-proof glass, and even materials that have reflective surfaces.

They use less heat

Water jet cutters do not cause any adjacent areas to the cutting space to become heated, which means they are more likely to remain intact and uncompromised by the cutting process.

Better cut quality

If you are looking for a highly accurate cut, water jet cutting machines are the way to go. Capable of achieving a 0.13mm of accuracy, as well as being able to cut 3D shapes, no other cutting machine delivers this level of precision.

They are cheaper

In terms of operating your cutting machine, water jet cutters are considerably more cost-effective. They boast a fast set-up time, and you can use controlled software to operate them, meaning they can continue to work outside of normal operating hours.

Disadvantages of water jet cutting

Increased cutting times

One of the main drawbacks of water jet cutting is that it does take a little bit longer than other methods of cutting. This means that you may experience less output.

Initial costs

CNC machining does not come cheap, and you may find the initial cost of additional abrasive materials such as granite to be beyond your budget.

Risk of orifice failure

Poor quality waterjet orifices have a tendency to break down, which can result in lost time and a reduction in productivity. That being said, you can easily find spare parts for water jet cutters online, including a replacement cutting head.

Do you need help choosing a water jet cutting machine for your business? You can contact us here and speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable team who will be more than happy to guide you through the purchasing process.

Waterjet cutting involves using a special cutter that employs a jet of high pressure water to cut through a variety of different materials. Watching the process of this jet stream is quite fascinating, and this method of cutting certainly gets the job done quickly, but that exactly are the advantages of using waterjet cutting? Read on to find out.

Waterjet Cutters Are Green Technology

We all know – or should know, at least – that we have to become a lot more environmentally friendly in everything we do. That applies to business owners and individuals, and whether it’s your home or business, you need to work out ways to be kinder to the planet.

Using waterjet cutting methods is one such improvement you can make. The cold cutting process doesn’t create any kind of dangerous or hazardous waste, and neither does it employ any chemicals in the cutting methods. As we’ve said, it’s simply a water jet, albeit a highly pressurised one.

Waterjet Cutters Can Get Through Almost Anything

Another get benefit to using waterjet cutting machines is that they will cut almost any material. Compare a waterjet cutter with another type of cutting machine, and you’ll see that whereas other units might have quite large limitations on what they can cut for you, the waterjet cutter is far more likely to do the job you need it to do. As examples, the waterjet cutting machine can cut through:

So no matter what job you need to be done, waterjet cutting technology will help you achieve your goal.

The Cutting Steam Produces Less Heat

When working on metal fabrication, one of the big and potentially most dangerous issues is the heat. Traditional laser cutting will produce a huge amount of heat which means you need to be extremely careful when using the equipment, and damage is highly possible. If you choose to cut metal with a waterjet cutting machine, however, you’ll find that much less heat is produced, making it a lot safer to use.

Not only does the material you are cutting not get as hot as it would if you were using other cutting services, but there are no additional heat affected zones adjacent to the cutting tables either. This means that the area you’re working in won’t overheat, making it safer for you, your work colleagues, and your place of work in general.

Waterjet Cutting Is Highly Accurate

Another advantage of waterjet cutting that is sure to mean a lot to both business owners and their customers is that this method of cutting is extremely accurate. In fact, waterjet cutters can offer a 0.13mm degree of accuracy. Plus, they can cut highly intricate 3D shapes and specific patterns, meaning that no matter what you need in terms of the material you’re cutting, the waterjet cutter can offer it to you.

For more information about waterjet cutters and what they can do for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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