Water jet cutting


Awl --
formatting link
is a neat article on water
jets, showing 5 axis cutting.
But they comment that water jet cutting can be done with water alone,
*without abrasive*, achieving much finer cuts. Abrasive cuts vary from .020
to .050, while non-abrasive cuts vary from .003 (!!) to .013.
When is non-abrasive cutting used? Often?
I would imagine it would be for thin and/or soft material.
What's the thickest material that can be cut with abrasives+water?
I was astonished to read that steel 24" thick can be cut with
oxyacetylene -- holy shit....
Reply to
Existential Angst
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Water is usually used for non ferrous metals, sheet metals, many types of hard plastics and what have you, under 1/4" thick. Adding the abrasive REALLY increases the cutting power. And surprisingly..not all that much abrasive is actually added.
Ive seen 4" thick aluminum on a BIG water jet table. No idea what the max is.
And the kerf is surprisingly small. Though it takes a very special torch and proper machinery to do it.
Reply to
Gunner Asch
The pressures are awesome -- over 90,000 psi for the stronger units! holy shit, I didn't know that was even possible. That's proly one expensive effing pump....
Which suggests an upper limit to the psi for flood coolant -- too high and you'd actually dull yer tooling, erode yer material! I'll bet 5,000-10,000 psi is the practical limit for VMC-type coolant, proly closer to 5,000. I think some people here have 3,000 psi coolant -- that's some big-dick machining, yo....
Pressure washers max out at about 3,000 psi, and they indeed can do a lot of damage, house-wise, gouging wood, damaging shingles, like my asshole neighbor does.
Reply to
Existential Angst
Fiberglass headliners in automotive applications. Worked really good for that.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Reply to
Wes
Well over.
Compression of the water happens too.
Usually piston pumps. Need special (very) fittings & hoses .....
Reply to
Cliff
I don't know what the max is, but a local machine owner advertises up to 300mm, which is about at foot in your money.
Reply to
Robert Roland
Talked to a business several years ago about getting some plate cut. Told me about a 6" marble slab that he cut. Was sent oversize. Sent it back to be recut or get it cut locally? He used his water jet. Said that the only way he knew it was still moving during the cutting was to watch the monitor. It was still cheaper then sending it back east to be recut.
Reply to
Mach1
We tended to use 0.005" dia diamond nozzles at 41,000 psi. We had a S-RIM application where we went to 0.008" and cranked the pressure up to 50,000 psi.
The only metal we cut were our waterjet fixtures ;) They tended to erode where there were dwells to make sharp corners.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Reply to
Wes
Sarah Lee. They use them for slicing the cakes in your supermarket freezer. Also, insulation materials, fabric, and foil-thin metals, especially aluminum.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
I forgot about that one. Sarah Lee has a plant not too far away. I remember the IR representative talking about that.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Reply to
Wes
Steel cut to 24" - yes all of the time in the oil service manufacturing companies.
It is great to go the the scrap yard in town and see the CNC cut scraps!
They await the oxygen lance as the other methods just can't get there when done by hand (heat and gas cost).
Martin
Existential Angst wrote:
Reply to
Martin H. Eastburn
Well, let's see...
The granite under Niagara falls is 250 feet high, and it gets worn away by something like a foot per year.
The Grand Canyon is about a mile deep, and it was cut entirely by water, and the bits of rock and sand the water carried with it.
So the answer is, you can probably cut just about any thickness, and just about any material. The only technical problems to be solved are precision and production rate.
Stay tuned.
KG
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
This is sorta related, and might be of interest. Where I work, we do a lot of micro-sand-blasting. Tiny nozzles, and very fine grits (down to baking soda and talcum powder, literally) for very precise deburring of small parts, and very consistent control of surface finishes.
It works well; but it's a PITA. Even with vacuum systems, and enclosures and containement and all the rest, we still deal with the grit getting where we don't want it. And in a precision machine shop, grit of any kind is bad news.
So there's been some talk about a new process: dry ice blasting. The equipment makes dry ice, pulverizes it according to the desired grit parameters, and then uses is (quickly, I'd guess) just the way we now use powders and glass beads. And after the sharp, hard little ice crystals have kamikaze'd into the work, and have done their jobs, they just evaporate, and are wisked away by relatively small and simple vacuum systems that don't need filters or baffles or cleanounts, or anything else like that.
The instant I heard about it, it made sense, and I kicked myself twice because I didn't think of it.
KG
Reply to
Kirk Gordon
But...but..but Kirk!! Thats CO2 Production! Dry Ice is CO2! You will burn us all up with Gorbal Warming!!!!
Gunner
Reply to
Gunner Asch
1 foot per year? Heh, I think at that rate, over geologic time, we'd be down to china by now. Mebbe a fraction of an inch per year? Don't forget, the water is falling *into water*, which is essentially coating the granite. The only thing eroding after the pools build up any depth is the flowing water itself, which is proly .001" per year, on solid granite.
But the overall point is legit. Sheeit, wind can erode stuff....
Reply to
Existential Angst
We used dry ice blasting for cleaning built up mold release on our srim forming tools. Worked fantastic.
Wes -- "Additionally as a security officer, I carry a gun to protect government officials but my life isn't worth protecting at home in their eyes." Dick Anthony Heller
Reply to
Wes

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