Water Jet Cutter



In the 1950s, forestry engineer Norman Franz experimented with an early type of water jet cutter to reduce lumber. Nevertheless, the technologies did not advance notably until the 1970s when Mohamed Hashish created a approach to add abrasives to the water jet cutter. Right now the water jet is unparalleled in many aspects of cutting and has changed the way many items are manufactured. A lot of sorts of water jets exist right now, including plain water jets, abrasive water jets, percussive water jets, cavitation jets and hybrid jets.


The cutter is generally connected to a high-pressure water pump where the water is then ejected from the nozzle, cutting via the material by spraying it with the jet of high-speed water. Additives in the form of suspended grit or other abrasives, such as garnet and aluminum oxide, can assist in this approach.


An crucial advantage of the water jet cutter is the potential to reduce material without interfering with the material’s inherent structure as there is no “heat-impacted zone” or HAZ. Minimizing the effects of heat makes it possible for metals to be reduce with out harming or changing intrinsic properties.

Water jet cutters are also capable of creating rather intricate cuts in material. The kerf, or width, of the cut can be changed by altering components in the nozzle, as properly as the sort and size of abrasive. Standard abrasive cuts are produced with a kerf in the range of .04″ to .05″ (1.016 to 1.27 mm), but can be as narrow as .02″ (.508 mm). Non-abrasive cuts are generally .007″ to .013″ (.178 to .33 mm), but can be as small as .003″ (.076 mm), which is approximately the size of a human hair. These tiny cutters can make very small detail achievable in a wide range of applications.

Water jet is deemed a “green” technologies. Water jets generate no hazardous waste, minimizing waste disposal fees. They can cut off massive pieces of reusable scrap material that may well have been lost employing classic cutting techniques. Components can be closely nested to maximize material use, and the water jet saves material by creating very tiny kerf. Water jets use really small water (a half gallon to approximately a single gallon per minute depending on cutting head orifice size), and the water that is utilised can be recycled using a closed-looped system. Waste water normally is clean enough to filter and dispose of down a drain. The garnet abrasive is a non-toxic natural substance that can be recycled for repeated use. Garnet normally can be disposed of in a landfill. Water jets also get rid of airborne dust particles, smoke, fumes, and contaminates from cutting materials such as asbestos and fiberglass. This significantly improves the perform environment and reduces difficulties arising from operator exposure.


A water jet cutter making a specialist tool

Simply because the nature of the cutting stream can be very easily modified the water jet can be used in nearly every market there are a lot of diverse materials that the water jet can reduce. Some of them have distinctive traits that demand particular focus when cutting. Each material reduce will have some unique qualities that have to be taken into account.

Supplies frequently cut with a water jet consist of rubber, foam, plastics, composites, stone, tile, metals, meals, paper and considerably a lot more. Supplies that can’t be reduce with a water jet are tempered glass, diamonds and specific ceramics.

Water jet cuts are not generally limited by the thickness of the material, and are capable of cutting components more than eighteen inches (45 cm) thick. The penetrating power of these tools has led to the exploration of their use as anti-tank weapons but, due to their quick variety and the advent of composite armour, analysis was discontinued.


Industrial water jet cutting systems are obtainable from companies all more than the globe, in a range of sizes, and with water pumps capable of a variety of pressures. Standard water jet cutting machines have a operating envelope as small as a few square feet, or up to hundreds of square feet. Ultra-high stress water pumps are accessible from as low as 40,000 psi (276 MPa) up to 90,000 psi (621 MPa).


There are six main process qualities to water jet cutting:

Uses a high velocity stream of abrasive particles suspended in a stream of Ultra High Pressure Water (30,000 – 90,000 psi) which is produced by a water jet intensifier pump.

Is utilized for machining a big array of materials, which includes heat-sensitive, delicate or very challenging supplies.

Produces no heat damage to workpiece surface or edges.

Nozzles are typically made of sintered boride.

Produces a taper of significantly less than 1 degree on most cuts, which can be reduced or eliminated completely by slowing down the cut process.

Distance of nozzle from workpiece affects the size of the kerf and the removal price of material. Standard distance is .125″.

Temperature is not as a lot of a factor.

Edge good quality

Edge quality for water jet reduce parts is defined with the numbers 1 by way of 5. Lower numbers indicate rougher edge finish higher numbers are smoother. For thin components, the distinction in cutting speed for High quality 1 could be as much as three occasions more rapidly than the speed for Quality five. For thicker materials, High quality 1 could be six occasions quicker than High quality 5. For example, four thick Aluminum Q5 would be .72 ipm (18 mm/min) and Q1 would be 4.2 ipm (107 mm/min), five.eight occasions more rapidly.

Multi-axis cutting

Principal write-up: Multiaxis machining

A 5-Axis Waterjet Cutting Head

A five-Axis Waterjet Element

With recent advances in manage and motion technology, 5-axis water jet cutting (abrasive and pure) has turn out to be a reality. Where the regular axes on a water jet are named X (back/forth), Y(left/correct) and Z (up/down), a 5-axis technique will normally add an A axis (angle from perpendicular) and C axes (rotation about the Z-axis). Based on the cutting head, the maximum cutting angle for the A axis can be anyplace from 55, 60, or in some situations even 90 degrees from vertical. As such, 5-axis cutting opens up a wide variety of applications that can be machined on a water jet cutting machine.

A five-axis cutting head can be utilized to cut four-axis parts, where the bottom surface geometries are shifted a particular quantity to make the proper angle and the Z-axis remains at one particular height. This can be helpful for applications like weld preparation exactly where a bevel angle demands to be reduce on all sides of a portion that will later be welded, or for taper compensation purposes exactly where the kerf angle is transferred to the waste material – hence eliminating the taper typically found on water jet-cut components. A 5-axis head can reduce components where the Z-axis is also moving along with all the other axis. This complete 5-axis cutting could be utilized for cutting contours on different surfaces of formed parts.

Simply because of the angles that can be cut, component programs may want to have added cuts to totally free the element from the sheet. Attempting to slide a complex component at a extreme angle from a plate can be challenging with no acceptable relief cuts.


^ About waterjets, archived from the original on 2010-02-13, http://www.webcitation.org/5nWaNTDGA, retrieved 2010-02-13. 

^ “Firm | Flow International Corporation”. Flowcorp.com. http://www.flowcorp.com/about-flow.cfm. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 

^ a b “Firm”. Jet Edge. http://www.jetedge.com/content.cfm?fuseaction=dsp_applications_101. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 

^ “Firm | WARDJet”. WARDJet.com. http://www.wardjet.com/learnmore.asp. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 

^ “Jet Edge 90,000 PSI X-Stream Waterjet Intensifier Pump”. 2009-01-25. http://www.jetedge.com/content.cfm?fuseaction=dsp_products_detail&ampproduct_ID=120. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 

^ “Company | International Rebar Services”. grswaterjet.co.uk. http://www.grswaterjet.co.uk/pumps.html. Retrieved 2009-09-08. 

^ “Waterjet Relationship Parameters”. http://www.wardjet.com/02-waterjet-partnership-parameters.html. 

^ a b c “5-Axis Waterjet Cutting”. http://www.wardjet.com/five-axis.asp. 

External links


How Water Jets Operate, HowStuffWorks.com video

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