Water Jet Cutting

Published : 01-01-2015 by : Pawan Janorkar

Rating: 4/5 (18 votes)

In the battle to reduce costs, engineering and manufacturing departments are constantly on the lookout for an edge. The water jet process provides many unique capabilities and advantages that can prove very effective in the cost battle. Learning more about the water jet technology will give us an opportunity to put these cost-cutting capabilities to work. Beyond cost cutting, the water jet process is recognized as the most versatile and fastest growing process in the world. Water jets are used in high production applications across the globe. They compliment other technologies such as milling, laser, EDM, plasma and routers. No poisonous gases or liquids are used in water jet cutting, and water jets do not create hazardous materials or vapors. No heat effected zones or mechanical stresses are left on a water jet cut surface. It is truly a versatile, productive, cold cutting process. The water jet has shown that it can do things that other technologies simply cannot. From cutting whisper, thin details in stone, glass and metals; to rapid whole drilling of titanium; for cutting of food, to the killing of pathogens in beverages and dips, the water jet has proven itself unique.

THEORY OF WATER JET CUTTING

Most water jet cutting theories explain water jet cutting as a form of micro erosion as described here. Water jet cutting works by forcing a large volume of water through a small orifice in the nozzle. The constant volume of water traveling through a reduced cross sectional area causes the particles to rapidly accelerate. This accelerated stream leaving the nozzle impacts the material to be cut. The extreme pressure of the accelerated water particles contacts a small area of the work piece. In this small area the work piece develops small cracks due to stream impact. The water jet washes away the material that "erodes" from the surface of the work piece. The crack caused by the water jet impact is now exposed to the water jet. The extreme pressure and impact of particles in the following stream cause the small crack to propagate until the material is cut through.

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