Waterjet metal cutting is a process that uses pressurized water to cut different kinds of metals. These processes are used to cut out different kinds of metal to various shapes and sizes. Some common materials cut through this process include aluminum, copper, stainless steel, titanium, and brass. There are several things to consider when setting up a water jet machine to cut these materials into the right shape.
Reasons to Use Water jet cutting
Water jet cutting machines are often not chosen by many companies due to their high price. Prices of most new laser cut machines begin at $350,000 although refurbished ones can be found for half that price. But water jet cutting is much more cost-effective, with very low running costs starting at $40,000 for small units. The finished product will look almost identical to a machine purchased new, since both machines have similar features.
Things to Consider before Starting Water jet Metal Cutting
A two-inch-thick piece of stainless steel is generally a cut limit for most machines. For less thick pieces, a handheld unit will be needed. Typically a precision CNC water jet unit is the best choice. CNC stands for Computer Numerated Control. This means that the machine will run in a preset pattern, which allows for accurate cutting with little manual intervention.
Water jet Metal Fabrication
An important consideration is how thick the material being cut will be. Thinner materials need less pressure to cut, but they also take less time to complete the task. Some commonly thin materials that can be used in abrasive water jet cutting are aluminum, copper, brass, stainless steel, and titanium. The finished piece will often reflect the characteristics of the material being cut, such as inclusions and impurities.
How to Prepare Metals before Water jet Metal Cutting
The metals to be cut must be completely cold, no matter if it is cold water or corrosive saltwater. This means that a cold room must be prepared. This room has all the right equipment to control the temperatures to make sure that the metallurgy process goes according to plan. Once the metals are perfectly cold, the water jet unit can begin its work.
Water jet Metal Fabrication speeds up a process that is otherwise tedious and difficult. It allows for the precision finishing of intricate metals with minimal effort. When the final result is a professional edge finish, this is often the desired outcome. There is a learning curve that needs to be addressed when using abrasive water jet cutting, but once a person has learned the process, it is not difficult to learn other cutting techniques as well.
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