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Industrial Engineering Technology

What Does the Future Hold for Water Jet Machine Manufacturers?

According to water jet machine manufacturers, the early generation of waterjets can cut through soft materials very easily. However, they are not as effective when working on harder materials, and that includes metals. Water jet cutting machines started having this capability only after the idea of adding abrasive material to the cutting nozzle was thought of.

The technology of adding abrasive material to the waterjet cutting machine nozzle was pioneered by Leslie Tirrell and Elmo Smith in the 1930s. Back then, the service life of an abrasive waterjet nozzle was too short. Hence, they were obviously not viable back then. For that reason, mass producing it was not a practical idea and was thus shelved for quite some time.

The plan for mass production was only relaunched only after several material innovations came to surface by virtue of mixing tubes. The production of the commercially acceptable nozzle was initiated by Boride Corporation.

By fusing high-pressure pump and abrasive waterjet nozzle, water jet cutting machines are now made better than ever. They can now handle cutting through a wide spectrum of materials, including titanium, glass, stone and even hardened tool steel.

Nowadays, water jet cutting is considered by industry experts and insiders as among the leading cutting technologies we have in this modern time and age. The acceptance and level of popularity of the waterjet manufacturers and business sectors for this method of cutting have finally qualified it as the go-to choice for many.

While this technology has undergone several innovations and improvements in the past, the silver lining question here is where is it leading us to?

Faster

Compared to how it was back then when waterjet cutting machines were first introduced to the world, it has become a lot faster. This was after it was made to deliver higher water pressure via the machine’s cutting head.

Water pressure through the cutting head can reach up to 87, 00 PSI. This is water delivered to at least 4 times the sound speed. Over time, it is anticipated that this speed we now have will still go further and faster.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that speed gains may not happen through water pressure anymore. Instead, further improvements will focus more on design and software upgrades.

Thicker

Right this very moment, water jet cutting is already leading the way. It is capable of cutting through depths 10 times more than what a laser cutter does.

By virtue of increased water pressure, it would still be possible for it to cut deeper still. In a few years, perhaps we can make a seamless cut on metal that is half a meter’s depth.

Cutting Complex Parts

By far this can be considered as the biggest milestone in recent years. Water jets can now cut parts beyond the basic 2-dimensional cut we see.

XD cutting is now made possible through water jet cutters. It is a cutting head, capable of moving on multiple axes. This also signifies that it can cut complex 3-dimensional parts and that it can be carried in just one, singular strike. It is contrary to what you do in secondary cuts, which are time-consuming and costly, too.

The XD cutting technology is usually employed by the likes of formula one teams and Boeing. These industries require complex metal parts for their machinery, and they need to be done in the most accurate way possible.

There is more coming to this area, and it is anticipated that it will grow even further. Water jet cutting machines that are made capable of cutting more complex parts, more detailed and at a quicker pace.

Besides, industry experts are agreeing with each other that there will be a greater level of awareness about this technology. Business organizations will see this technology can save them both time and money on their metal cutting requirements.

Categories
Industrial Engineering Technology

How is a Water Jet Cutting Machine Different from Laser Cutting?

It is surprising to know that many people today are still unaware of how efficient water jet cutting machines are. The working idea behind this popular material cutting method was inspired by how a waterfall wears away rock formations at the bottom of a deep ravine. Only that it is done in warp speeds, and executed with greater emphasis on precision.

The Power of Water Jet Cutting Machine

To further intensify the cutting power of a waterjet cutter, the pressurized water used for these cutting machines can be mixed with abrasive particles. Typically used for this purpose are aluminum oxide and garnets.

As for the cutting force of water jet cutting machine, it can reach a maximum power of 60,000 psi. This explains the reason why this material cutting method is most recommended and preferred for projects that involve cutting of thicker material objects where the use of laser cutting method may not be very feasible at all, or would just run the risk of giving poor quality cut.

Some of the most common reasons why a significant number of metal fabrication centers in the country are shifting or patronizing the use of waterjet machines are due to the following: 

It can be used when working on thicker materials, including patterns that come with large tolerances.

They are trying to veer away from heat interference due to laser transferring its heat to the materials being cut. At high risk here are patterns that are so close to each other.

Waterjet cutting allows your metals to lay flat throughout the entire cutting process. In the laser cutting method, there are instances that you need to know how to put them at the right level.

Their team is involved or deals with an array of different materials. Waterjets earned a good reputation in cutting through stone, ceramic, steel, reflective metals, and many others.  

Laser Cutting

Laser cutting machines are in high demand these days, even from the very first day they were introduced to the market and we attribute this to their high level of precision. They also gained wide acceptance among various industries because they cut your materials fast.

But if there is one major setback you can complain about this method of cutting, it is the fact that you are limited to cutting only ⅝ of thickness. Beyond this level of thickness, it is hard to maintain an exceptional quality of cut.

Today’s software applications allow you to send a CAD file to the laser computer. After which you can begin cutting materials for your project within seconds. Many fabrication shops in the country are employing this method to help address their prototyping needs.

Laser cutting machines come with a stackable material tower which makes them ideal for big production runs. Many companies execute long, overnight cutting runs. They also leave these cutting machines unattended. 

Major Differences of Water Jet Cutting Machine and Laser Cutter Devices

Laser Cutting VS Water Jet

Infrared Light and gas laserEnergy and SourceWater and high-pressure pump
8 x (4 -20’) x 6.5’Standard Table Size8 x (4-13’) x 6.5’
Sheet MetalCommon Cut MaterialsStone, ceramics, thick metal
0.31” to 0.4”0.06”Economical ThicknessMinimum Hole Size0.250” to 2”0.02”
0.002”Tolerance0.008