General

This page contains information from before 2010. It is left here for archival reasons only.  Although in most cases, the information here should still be relevant and useful, please be aware that the information contained on this page may be out of date.  For the most up to date information please navigate back to the home page.

The articles in this section cover general information about waterjets, such as the different parts of a waterjet, cutting speed, and operating costs.

Articles in this Section

Life of cutting nozzles

The main wear part in a nozzle is the mixing tube. This is where the high-pressure water and the abrasive are mixed together before striking the material. The mixing tube is typically made of a very hard, but brittle material.

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Waterjet vs. abrasivejet nozzles

There is a difference between a pure waterjet nozzle and an abrasivejet nozzle. With the abrasivejet nozzle, an opening in the side of the nozzle allows for the introduction of the abrasive to the high-pressure water stream. The two are mixed in a mixing tube and then exit the nozzle. With a pure waterjet nozzle,...

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What goes into a waterjet

Although every waterjet model is different, there are certain standard features that will be present in all waterjets in one form or another. Although the following discussion uses OMAX Corporation equipment as an example, every manufacturer's machines will have similar parts.

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Tips on making good drawings

One of the big advantages to computer-controlled waterjet systems is that you can draw a part on your computer, take it to a job shop, and have them quickly turn your drawing into reality. This also introduces a brand-new area where mistakes can be made and the nice little five inch part you drew comes...

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Compatible file types

Computer-controlled waterjets use files to transfer information about parts. When you draw a part using a computer program, you create a file with the instructions necessary to draw the part. Whether or not another program can correctly read that information depends on the file type. If it is a standard file type, then many other...

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Waterjet machine sizes

Waterjet machines come in a variety of sizes, from small ones that fit into one corner of a machine shop to large ones that completely fill a shop. Machine size is typically measured as the size of the "bed" or area where the material to be cut is placed. Note that the cutting area (the...

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Basic waterjet safety

In general, waterjets are quite safe. The nozzle is typically 0.1" (2.5 mm) or so from the material, so it is difficult to get your fingers under it. High pressure tubing does not explode because water is not very compressible. When a leak occurs, the pressure quickly drops to a safe level.

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Waterjet abrasives

An abrasivejet uses a mixture of water and abrasive to more effectively cut through materials. A pure waterjet (one without abrasives) is effectively only for very soft materials, such as rubber or food products. Adding abrasive, however, greatly enhances the cutting capability and the abrasive waterjet can cut through steel.

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Cutting speeds

Ideally, you want to make the most precise part possible in the least amount of time, and for the least amount of money. Cutting speeds are a function of the material to cut, the geometry of the part, the software and controller doing the motion, the power and efficiency of the pump making the pressure,...

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Water quality considerations

The main reason you care about water quality when you use a waterjet is that it has a large effect on how long various components in your machine last. Components in high-pressure water pumps and nozzles will wear out much faster if you have poor water quality, especially if there are a lot of minerals...

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Tilting the machine head

There are several reasons why you might want to tilt the machining head which contains the nozzle. These include

  • Increasing precision by removing taper
  • Creating beveled edges for artistic purposes or for die relief
  • Creating sharp edges to use for knives or cutters

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Controller types

The controller is the brains of the waterjet. It turns the high-pressure water pump on and off, and sets the pressure if the water pump is capable of it. The controller also controls the abrasive feed, and it also positions and moves the nozzle on the table. A good controller moves the nozzle at exactly...

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Waterjet operating costs

A ball park figure for a generic machine would be roughly $25 to $30 per hour plus whatever you pay your employees.

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Building your own waterjet

In general, this is something you should avoid unless: you think building it yourself would be fun, but you don't intend to run it as a business, there is no machine available on the market that can do the particular highly specialized job that you want to do, and none of the machine builders want...

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Interviews and notes from SUPER-WATER users

This page collects notes from SUPER-WATER users on their real-world experiences. If you have experiences with SUPER-WATER that you would like to share, please do. Just write a short article or email, and send it to me , and I'll publish it here.

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About SUPER-WATER

This page contains information about the SUPER-WATER concentrated industrial water-blasting additive. If you want additional information about SUPER-WATER, you may be interested in joining the on-line discussion group dedicated to the topic of SUPER-WATER.

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