Water jet machine manufacturers are on the assertion that waterjet cutting machines usually come with a number of critical attributes that really make them distinct from traditional technologies including plasma, laser, machining, EDM wire cut, etc.
The cost of running a water jet technology is relatively cheaper compared to many other alternatives. And this aspect is one of its most prominent attributes. If you will take everything into consideration, it will only take you $14.00 every hour to run a water jet operation.
After you put on your top profit percentage, labor hours, or the product material cost, and everything in between, you’d finally get your final price. Water jet cutting is not only advantageous on the aspect of its initial running costs, but it also offers us several other cost-saving benefits and these include its fast cutting design, fast set-up time, the fast transition time from making the outline to cutting.
Waterjet cutting is intended for use in cutting a material all the way through it. But you will scarcely hear contractors using it to cut an object to a certain depth because it often poses great difficult and is challenging to carry out and if you will dare proceed to do so, the results are often inaccurate and disastrous.
However, this cutting-edge technology is practically used in engraving projects where depth is not considered of prime importance.
Water jet machines that are powerful enough can create a stream width of about 0.04 inch. Initially, it was thought of as the smallest hole that can be made with the greatest accuracy but was actually proven as wrong. The machine will need to break through the material first (the process is known as piercing) before it can cut along the cutting line.
Piercing requires a powerful blast of water-containing abrasives and the beam of water is focused directly at the material’s surface. This will help create the initial hole which at first is fairly rough. Hence, second piercing to the same hole is necessary in order to smoothen it up. Ideally, it should be twice the size of the waterjet, this will help ensure that the hole is smooth enough.
Lead In/Lead Out
Sometimes you will see that there are small indentations in the area where the waterjet blast began and ended its cut. Often, the material’s initial piercing will be carried out in the part of the bulk that is deemed scrap. It is only by this measure can you veer away from having a large blow-out blemish wrought out by the initial piercing. However, that point in the material where the cuts cross together in its lead-in – lead-out section, a nib may form but eventually, you will have to remove this.
The term kerf pertains to that scrap material that is inevitably taken off by a cutting implement. In this case, the very width of the jet stream, which is normally 1 mm or 0.04”, will have a crucial role to play here. Lesser known microjet cutting heads usually come with a smaller nozzle and their stream width is about 0.5mm or 0.02 inches.
This means to say that the inside corners cut by waterjet will not stand a chance of being perfectly sharp. It is very likely also that its radius will be the exact match of the jet. This may be insignificant but it is important to keep that in mind as you design that part.
Much like any other cutting tools, water jet machine manufacturers saw that their cutting implement do have their own fair share of drawbacks, too. But it is such a relief to know that these limitations are quite easy to understand. It actually gives you an opportunity to see to it that your design is built around them and not going against them.