If you don’t have a lot of experience in using water jet cutters in San Francisco, CA, you might not understand the piercing process and how to perform it effectively. However, it is a highly beneficial way of piercing holes in materials.
Here’s some information that you should be aware of if you’re going to be using water jet cutting machinery for your next job.
How water jet piercing differs from more conventional drilling
In your standard mechanical drilling methods, the cutters will go through the material with a spiral cutter that lifts out the chips, debris and other material from the hole. If you choose to use EDM for your cutting, the electrode on the device burns the material away by arcing, and the debris then gets washed out with a liquid. If you’re going to be drilling glass, a diamond bit might be necessary to grind or pulverize the glass. All of these processes are relatively similar.
When you use water jet cutters, however, you don’t have one of those spiral cutters that removes the debris. This means that since the debris isn’t being removed while you’re going through the material, it will have to come back out of the hole the jet made. Since the jet is moving at a high speed and is shooting at a very high pressure, that means the debris will also come back out at a high speed and pressure.
As such, piercing with water jets can become a rather messy process, and you should expect the surrounding area to get a bit dirty from all the debris that comes shooting out of those holes.
The stream that the water jet uses is also much smaller and more precise than a lot of conventional drilling methods would create. It’s typically about 0.030” in diameter, and theoretically makes a hole of about the same size once it’s in the material. As it proceeds to cut through the material, if it doesn’t cut through the material nearly instantly, then the water and material will need to find another way to exit the hole, meaning it will come back out the hole it goes into. This means the hole will start to become a bit bigger. The hole could quickly become about another hundredth of an inch in diameter as the water that’s escaping the hole slightly erodes the material.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the deeper you go into the material, the longer it takes for the water jet to cut. And as the debris comes back out around the stream, it will also increasingly erode the hole it came into.
You don’t have a whole lot of control over the process when drilling particularly deep holes, so you’re likely not going to end up with a completely round hole. However, we’re talking about hundredths of an inch here, so this may not necessarily be a drawback for you if extreme detail and accuracy isn’t 100 percent necessary.
These are just a few things you should take into consideration about piercing materials with water jets before you reach out to us to use our water jet cutting services in San Francisco, CA. For more information about the work we do, we encourage you to contact Mach 1 Waterjet, Inc. today and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.