What Levels of Pressure Are Used by Waterjet Cutting Machines?

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.

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