Mach 1 Waterjet, Inc. is a top resource for water jet cutting in San Francisco, CA, so we make it a priority to stay up with the latest trends, technologies and innovations in our industry. One question we hear from our clients is, “Why does pressure matter in abrasive water jet cutting?” And today, we’d like to answer that question in a little detail.
If you have more questions about abrasive water jet cutting pressure, or any other water jet cutting needs, feel free to give us a call!
Pump pressure is going up
Water jet cutting has come a long way over the last several decades. What used to be considered high pressure back in the 1980s is now on the low side of the pressure range, and abrasive water jet machines are continually increasing pressure levels as technology improves.
The reason for this climb in pressure is twofold. First, it makes abrasive movements faster, and second, this results in faster cuts. Cutting materials quicker means jobs can be completed on or ahead of schedule, and with better efficiency. From spaceship materials to food industry materials, water jet cutting can improve service in all areas by upping its abrasive water jet cutting pressure.
Abrasive water jet cutting: the basics
In order to understand why pressure matters, it’s helpful to know how abrasive water jets actually work. In short, water jet cutting relies on heavy water pressure, generated by a pump, which is channeled through a jewel opening. This opening changes the high-pressure water into what is known as “high-velocity water.” The mixing chamber is the next step for this water, where it encounters abrasive particles and, after a few more detailed steps, ultimately shoots out of the mixing tube in a powerful jet that can cut multiple materials.
Abrasive particles are what makes this cutting process possible. Technically, the cutting occurs because of erosion, and is helped (especially for softer materials) by the high-pressure water itself.
As you can see, the pressure that is exerted makes the abrasive water jet cutting more powerful as the pressure increases.
Higher pressure comes with some questions
One of the most common questions that comes up after this sort of explanation is, “Won’t higher pressures have a negative effect on the machinery?” This is a great question, and fortunately, the answer is “not necessarily.” If the wrong kinds of pumps are used—for example, with cutters that have older components—there is the potential for greatly shortened maintenance periods, as well as unnecessary wear and tear on machine components. However, thanks to innovation in the water jet cutting industry, there are now water jet pumps that are created specifically to handle these much higher pressures.
It’s important to work with an experienced company when you need water jet cutting in San Francisco, CA because they will have the right experience and knowledge to decide what kind of cutters and pumps are right for the job at hand. Mach 1 Waterjet, Inc. is here to serve all your abrasive water jet cutting needs. Just give us a call to get started!