How Can Waterjet Cutting Machines Cut Through Steel?

How Can Waterjet Cutting Machines Cut Through Steel?

Waterjet cutting machines are great indispensable cutting tools that are usually found in machine and metal fabrication shops. These cutting-edge tools are unique in such a way that they make use of a stream of high-pressure water to cut through metal surface. As amazing as it sounds, but is definitely true. Water, if they flow fast enough, they can seamlessly cut through a hard object even metals.  

If you have recently visited a car washing station, you will notice that people working there are making use of high-pressure water, with jets of water streaming out and are using them to “cut” off from the car its film of dirt deposited on its body, tires, and wheels.

The Secret of Waterjet Cutting Machines

In order for water to cut through an extremely hard surface like metal is to keep the sprayed liquid solid and coherent all throughout. Waterjets are designed this way, by channeling high-pressure water through a narrow nozzle. By keeping the water-pressure extremely high, the spray on water through the nozzle will remain coherent and solid at the same time.

Waterjet cutters are making conventional metal cutting machines obsolete because they will never gut dull and, another important consideration here is that, waterjet tools will never overheat. The overheating issue, which is a primary concern in the use of traditional metal cutting machines, completely taken out of the picture with waterjet machines.  

How Fast Can a Waterjet Cut?

With the help of a 30 HP pump, an abrasive waterjet machine can easily and seamless cut a half-inch thick titanium. The cutting process can be carried out at a rate of 10 inches every minute. In this scenario, the jet cutter here will move in a fashion much like how a pen plotter would move.

Abrasive waterjet cutting tools have  a manifold of applications including:

  • Cutting custom shapes in a bullet-proof glass
  • Removal/retrieval of materials found inside train tunnels
  • Carving custom wooden signages
  • Carving sculpture
  • Cutting and trimming logs/lumber in a sawmill
  • Removal or taking away highway marking strips

Abrasive waterjet has been utilized in the past to cut through the hull of a submarine Kursk to aid in recovering the bodies of its dead Russian crew. However, you can’t just use ordinary water to a waterjet machine. It has to meet certain standards before it can qualify for its use. Otherwise, you are running the risks of inflicting damage to the machine eventually.

Water that is intended for use in waterjet has to meet certain criteria first before they can be utilized for this purpose. These factors will include water temperature and pH level. Aside from those, suspended solid particles that may not be necessarily visible to the naked eye are taken into consideration too as well as its dissolved solids.

By making sure that you are going to use the recommended type of water for your waterjet cutting machines, you are optimizing its potential and years of service to you.

More water jet cutter tips here.

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