What Kind of Waterjet Machine Should You Use?

While water jet cutting machines are capable of quickly slicing through a variety of materials, there are occasions you will see that they perform better when used on certain types of material and would thus deliver outstanding results. 

For instance, a standard water jet can cleanly cut and slice through softer materials, whereas an abrasive type of water jet is typically intended for slicing through harder materials. 

The latter category is further classified into a slurry-type of abrasive waterjet cutting system and entrainment water jet cutting machines. Moreover, an abrasive water suspension jet is a more advanced kind of abrasive water jet. It is generally the most efficient when it comes to fast and precision cutting of hard, tough objects.

The mechanical action weakens the binding and eliminates debris from the surface, after which it can be easily rinsed away with the help of a steady stream of water. 

Components of a WaterJet Machine

The following are the basic components of a water jet cutting machine. They can be combined in a variety of ways: 

  • Machine for Memory Guidance (CNC-controlled)
  • Pipework with high pressure
  • Tank with pump for oil
  • Intensifier of pressure
  • motor powered by electricity
  • Desalination and filtration of drinking water
  • Valve and nozzle with a diameter of 0.1 to 0.5 mm

A basic water jet cutting device runs by slicing through a material with a pressurized stream of water. It is best used on soft or cracked objects so that this instrument may cut through the material neatly and seamlessly. 

Did you know that diapers, automobile interiors, and tissue paper can be cut using a standard water jet cutting machine?

automobile interiors

Cutting Solid and Tougher Objects with Water

When it comes to harder, solid, and tough objects, you can process them using an abrasive type of water jet cutting machine. These pieces of equipment use water to propel the abrasive particles on the surface of a solid, hard material. Abrasive particles help facilitate a concentrated or intensified “erosion” on the surface of a hard material, making cutting or slicing through it possible and fast. The jet of water created is usually designed to create a tiny stream of pressurized water. 

As for the abrasive particles used, they are typically pebbles and rocks ground into a sand-like form. The materials you can cut with the abrasive type of water jet would range from stone, metal, ceramics, and an array of other similar items. 

Before pressurization takes place, the abrasive water jet slurry system blends the abrasive particles with water. Regrettably, this process sometimes runs the risk of accelerating the machine’s wear and tear. If such a scenario happens, the odds of frequent maintenance and repair are very high

While the abrasive water jet entrainment system disperses the abrasive particles in a chamber after the water has gone through the nozzle, the alternative method combines the abrasive particles right after the water passes through the nozzle. 

The particles are launched ahead of the water and are then driven out of the aperture at a velocity that’s faster than the flow of water. In many cases, this method will result in reduced wear on the machine.

Due to its fine cutting abilities, many believe the abrasive water suspension jet system ranks equally to some of the most efficient material cutting/slicing systems we have. By suspending the abrasive particles in a water-based gel, water jet cutting machines can drive the gel and direct it centrally towards the direction of the object to be cut.

As you can see, it can be used to slice through small objects such as nuts, and, as such, is commonly employed in micromachining tasks.