Finding the right standoff height for the task at hand is absolutely essential—but how do you know what that height should be?
As your expert in water jet cutting in San Francisco, CA, Mach 1 Waterjet, Inc. can help you with all your metal cutting needs. Here are a few of our top tips for understanding water jet cutting height.
Know what different heights do
Half the battle of finding the right height is understanding what the wrong heights do for a piece of metal. Keep in mind that “standoff height” refers to the distance measured between your chosen material and the tip of your chosen mixing tube.
Standoffs that are too low are basically never a good idea. They increase your risk of scratching your material, and you could even snap the tube. These mistakes will cost you in time and money—not to mention the angry phone calls and emails you’ll get from frustrated operators!
If your standoff is too high, you could adversely alter your top edge and create problems with your dimensions. This is because the jet will actually widen slowly in the open air.
If you notice that one of these issues is happening when you use water jet cutting methods, you might be too high or too low.
Know the general rule of thumb
Although you’ll deviate a little depending on the job, there is a general rule of thumb that can help you gauge the right standoff height: it should be about the thickness of an American coin, or 2.54mm. If you’re unsure of what height precisely is best for the job at hand, call Mach 1 Waterjet, Inc., your trusted resource for water jet cutting in San Francisco, CA. We’ll be happy to discuss your project and give you assistance with cutting your materials.
Consider underwater cutting
If you haven’t already tried it, you might want to look into underwater cutting, which has the advantage of giving you a wider range for standoff heights. This is because the water jet is not affected by open air the way “over-water” cutting would be, where the jet can’t stay together for a very long distance. Rather, it stays together long enough for double or even triple your regular standoff height without rounding off on the top edge.
The most common reason that many water jet cutting companies do not consistently cut underwater is that customers often want to see the cutting in progress, and this is difficult to demonstrate below water. If you have the option of using underwater cutting methods, however, they are certainly worth a shot.
Know when to ask for help
When it comes to water jet cutting in San Francisco, CA, there are some types of projects you may want to try on your own, but sometimes it’s important to call in the pros. Whether you’re working with copper, glass, granite, wood, ceramics, stainless steel or aluminum, Mach 1 Waterjet, Inc. can help you get the quality results you need.