Monday, July 25, 2016

How Does a UHP Waterjet System Work?

With the fall machine tool trade show season right around the corner, we thought we'd spend the next few days answering a few of the basic questions folks new to waterjet usually have but might be reluctant to ask.

Let's start with the most basic.

How does a precision waterjet cutting system work?

Here's a brief explanation, but if you'd like more details, please see our Waterjet 101 page.

It all starts with ordinary tap water - the same stuff you drink and bathe in.  We then filter that water to remove hardness and impurities and get it to the correct pH, following our recommended water quality guidelines for water jet systems.  The water is then fed into a hydraulic intensifier pump.  Some of the water is used to cool the pump and some of the water is pressurized up to 75,000 psi within an intensifier assembly featuring a hydraulic-powered piston.

The ultra high pressure water (UHP) is then sent to the waterjet cutting head, where it is sent through a very small diameter jewel orifice that focuses it into a high velocity waterjet.  This water only waterjet cuts soft materials including food, foam, rubber, carpet and gasket materials.  In fact, a water only waterjet likely cut all of the carpet in your vehicle, the rubber mats at your gym and the baby carrots we all love to snack on.

Most water jet cutting applications are actually abrasive waterjet cutting applications.  An abrasive, typically garnet, is added to the waterjet, creating a powerful abrasivejet that can cut just about anything, from tool steel to modern composites and even super alloys.

Abrasivejets work just like sandpaper.  Finer grit abrasive can be used for a nice smooth finish, or coarser grit can be used for faster rough cutting applications.

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Jet Edge is coming to FABTECH Nov. 16-18 in Las Vegas.  
We hope to see you there!