If you’ve ever taken a piece or sheet of metal or other material to a machinist to be cut, the professional may have used water jet machining to deliver the final product. While water jet machining in San Francisco, CA is one of the older methods for cutting material, technological advancements have made water jet machining more popular than ever. Read on to find out all you could ever want to know about water jet machining.
What are the parts of a water jet?
It takes several different important components of a water jet apparatus to work perfectly to deliver a quality finished product. Here are the main components of each machine:
- Reservoir: This stores the water that will eventually be used by the machine.
- Pump: The pump brings the water from the reservoir to the rest of the machine.
- Intensifier: Connected to the pump, the intensifier works to pressurize the water so that the material can be cut.
- Accumulator: The accumulator temporarily holds the pressurized water before it’s used.
- Control valve: This controls the direction and pressure of the water.
- Flow regulator: The flow regulator is pretty self-explanatory: it controls the flow of water from the machine to the nozzle.
- Nozzle: The nozzle spews the water at a high enough velocity to cut through whatever material the machinist is working with.
How does a water jet work?
Simply put, a water jet works by highly pressurizing water to a certain level and cutting the material with a powerful stream of that water. The cuts are controlled by a computer aided design (CAD) program, so the results are extremely precise.
What can water jets cut?
Due to their versatility, water jets are commonly used to cut a wide range of materials. Some of these materials include textiles, rubber, plastics, foam, leather, composite materials, stone, glass, tile, thick paper and metal.
What are the advantages of water jet machining?
Machinists wouldn’t use a water jet to cut materials unless they have major advantages over other tools and techniques. Here are just a few of the great things about water jet machining in San Francisco, CA:
- No heat affected zone: Fabrication methods like flame, plasma and laser cutting all emit an enormous amount of heat. That intense heat is not only damaging to the areas surrounding the cut, but can also be dangerous for the machinists.
- Reduces hazardous gases: Since a water jet is cutting metal with just water, there’s no hazardous gases, dust or other harmful substances filling up the air. This is safer for the health of the machinists in the shop, and also better for the environment.
- Water jets are precise: While machinists are highly trained, human error can occur while cutting with other techniques. Since water jet machines are operated by CAD software, there’s no possibility for human error. This fairly new technology follows cut lines specified by a machinist to within .005” of accuracy. Since water jets are operated by a computer, they are also capable of cutting in any direction a machinist specifies.
To learn more about the water jet machining process, or to schedule service, please get in touch with the team at Mach 1 Waterjet, Inc. for more information.