How Is Waterjet Cutting Carried Out?

How Does It Work? What Can It Cut?

Today I would like to give you information about a very different technology that I learned in my engineering career.

What is a Water Jet?

A water jet is an abrasive-supported, water-based manufacturing tool that is “not a cutting tool”, which is generally used to cut all materials in the world, regardless of their hardness level, hardness and softness, with a precise tolerance margin (0.1 mm). It has the capacity to cut almost any type of material. If we make an analogy, we can say that it is the intensified form of landslide caused by intense water pressure.

How Does Water Jet Work? What can it cut?

It is possible to watch the working principle of the water jet, which has become widespread in many manufacturing organizations with the developing technology, on video platforms. Is this the whole process in the videos where we can only watch the cuts made? Of course not. So let’s talk a little bit about what happens behind the camera and in the background while the machine is working.

The water jet, with the small grains of sand in it, together with the water with a tremendous pressure of about 6000 bar, progresses gradually until it reaches the “spray nozzle”, which has a very high resistance, and reaches the cutting tip, which transfers the maximum power to the material to be cut, from wide diameter to narrow diameter channels. It is not the water that does the work here, but the abrasive sand particles in it.

What can the water jet cut?

When the pressure value is so high, it can easily cut many materials such as glass, marble, metal, wood, etc. with a thickness of 20–30 cm. Since it has a slower processing speed than plasma and CNC, it is not used unless it is compulsory. 

The event is to cut the material by “mechanical abrasion” by giving the desired angle, shape and depth. Depending on the thickness of the material, there is no need to make adjustments except for the cutting speed. 

Because the aim is to cut at the highest speed, other calculations are kept in the best possible dimensions. The abrasive jet can cut absolutely any material in the world, regardless of its type, hardness and other properties.

It is important to note that after cutting, the particle size of the abrasive grit cannot be reused for a second cut as it is pulverized.

As water jet technology develops day by day, its use may increase even more, especially in industrial material cutting and processing.

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