Water Jet cutting uses high pressure water to cut softer material like rubber and foam. When abrasives are added to high pressure water the resulting abrasive jets cuts harder material like steel, glass, titanium, hard rock, bullet-proof glass, and ceramics etc. The high pressure water is forced through a tiny orifice to concentrate high energy in a tiny area to cut. The water is pressurized using an intensifier pump to a pressure of 6200 bar (90,000 psi) and forced through a tiny orifice of 0.15 mm to 0.35 mm diameter creating a high velocity of beam.
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Advantages of Water Jet cutting
Cold cutting process: Water Jet cutting do not produce any heat affected zones and the maximum temperature at the nozzle while piercing is found to be 50°C and is quiet less while cutting.
Environment friendly: With Water and sand as cutting medium, no hazardous wastes are generated and the cutting process is environmental friendly.
High thickness cutting: Water Jet can cut upto 170 mm Stainless Steel; 250 mm Aluminium; 300 mm Titanium.
High Accuracy: Water Jet cutting machines can cut material with a positional accuracy of +/- 0.03 mm.
The indicated value refer to a measured length of 1000 m at RT 20 C +1 C according to VDI/DGQ3441.
Machine virtually can cut any 2D shape: Water Jet can cut any 2 dimensional profile from most of the material.
High edge quality: Leaves a satin smooth finish thus reduces secondary operations.
Minimal or no fixtures required: As the force of the water jet is vertically down, no fixtures are required for most of the material due to negligible side forces. Thin sheets may require some weight to be placed.
Saves raw material: When machining or roughing out expensive materials such as titanium, the scrap still has a high value. This is because they will give chunks, not chips. It is possible to get more parts from the same material because of the abrasive jets low kerf width.
One tool universal application: Water Jet uses one cutting head for all material or operation, no need to change tool based on material or operation. The figure shows the machining of 2D shape with single tool for multiple operations such as slots, radii, holes, and profile in 1 to 2 minute setup.