If you are thinking of buying a water jet cutter, or you are struggling to get the best out of it, then you are probably wondering how the water itself can affect the performance of the jet.
In truth, the quality, quantity, and pressure of the water can all massively affect the efficiency of your waterjet cutter. Still, there is one other aspect that is worth considering - water flow.
Water flow is vital to get right when using a waterjet cutter because the higher the flow, the more water is being propelled at whatever you are trying to cut. It also increases the pressure, which is imperative for a powerful cut.
Therefore, you must have decent water flow if you want to get the most out of your waterjet cutter and ensure a high cutting speed.
Of course, the amount of water flowing through the nozzle will depend on the type of water jet you are using. A conventional pure water jet has a far more concentrated flow of water than an abrasive jet, which means they have varying performance potential.
However, both water and abrasive jets require a strong water flow to be effective.
This is what you need to know about the importance of water flow for running a waterjet cutter
The flow of water feeding into the water jet can significantly influence the water jet cutter's performance. This is for the obvious reason that the more water pumped into the jet, the faster and stronger the jet will be.
Of course, the overall performance of the jet and the types of material it can cut depends entirely on which waterjet cutting machines you use and their control systems.
A pure waterjet is the conventional choice and varies from the other primary type of water jet cutting - the abrasive waterjet. A pure water jet has no nozzle or mixing chamber, which means the water flow exits the cutter as a very thin stream. The result is a precise cut that is best used on soft or delicate materials - much like laser cutting.
However, with abrasive cuts, special pressure pumps project the water at high pressure.
The result is a cutter that performs at the speed of sound and can cut through tough materials like stainless steel or plastic.
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Put simply, the only way to make water jets cut faster is to increase the water pressure. In turn, this is done by increasing the water flow.
Of course, water and abrasive cutters use varying levels of water pressure. An abrasive variant's cutting process has a higher water pressure because it uses a garnet abrasive to sharpen the jet stream.
The higher pressure from the cutting head makes cutting with water far more powerful and allows you to cut hard materials.