Precision Waterjet Cut Metal Panels Keep Their Cool

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The Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) of a metal panel that has been mechanically or thermally cut is a threat to the purity of the material being cut and a primary cause of premature cutting equipment failure.

Precision waterjet cutting – the simple yet forceful act of using a high-powered stream (jet) of water to precisely cut through some of the most exotic metals on the planet. And doing so without distorting any fundamental characteristics of the material being cut. Sometimes a solution can be simplistic in its application.

Are you looking for waterjet cut metal panels for a particular metal fabrication where HAZ must not alter the purity of the material? Perhaps you would like to learn more about this metal cutting solution from a manufacturing industry leader like Elemet Manufacturing?

Let’s look at waterjet cut metal panels and how HAZ can be avoided. Let’s expand the discussion to include the difference between pure and abrasive waterjet cutting.

Precision Waterjet Cut Metal Panels

Waterjet cutting gears from a steel plate

To better understand why a waterjet cut can produce metal panels free of HAZ, let’s look at the medium used as the cutting agent.

Water is the most widely used substance to absorb and transfer heat. The cooling effects of water are even used more than the artificial refrigerants of ammonia, chlorofluorocarbons, and hydrofluorocarbons that were marketed well under the ‘Freon’ names as ordinary CO2 or carbon dioxide.

The high-pressure stream of water against the cut material is heated by naturally occurring friction. It means that when you use Waterjet Cutting to create your metal panels and cut steel, it makes the purest grade possible because this process keeps cool enough for optimal performance.

The Flexibility Provided by Precision Waterjet Cutting Technology

The technology of the water jet cutting machine gives you a degree of flexibility that you cannot find in traditional cutting methods like plasma, laser, or CNC machining technology. You depend on the process’s heat to cut through the material with plasma, laser-cut, and CNC plasma. That same heat is what causes the HAZ. With those technologies, the thicker the material being cut, the higher the degree of heat is needed.

You would have to switch to another cutting method if you were going from thin sheet metal or stainless steel to an exotic metal like a thick piece of titanium. With the latest water jet cutting nozzles, you can switch from something as delicate as foam rubber to that unknown piece of titanium with the flip of a switch.

An abrasive precision waterjet cutting machine

Pure Vs. Abrasive Waterjet Cut Metal Panels

Those newer waterjet cutting nozzles allow you to change your cutting jet from a pure stream of water only to an abrasive stream of water with different sizes of abrasive garnet mixed at the nozzle simply by switching the components of the stream.

Pure waterjet cutting can handle those delicate items like gaskets cut from foam rubber. The abrasive waterjet cutting can also make precise and delicate cuts through that big piece of titanium we were just talking about.

The main components of the waterjet cutting table are:

  • The table where the nozzle mechanism cuts on the X and Y axis and the garnet hopper and water catching tank are attached below.
  • A high-pressure pump that supplies the intensifier.
  • The water supply runs through an intensifier that produces a cutting force of up to 90,000 PSI.
  • The system controller operates on specific software for the system.

With this set-up, you can successfully cut delicate decorative screens or heavy-duty titanium brackets and anything in between by controlling the amount of abrasive garnet at the cutting nozzle.

Reducing the HAZ and Hazardous Fumes of Traditional Cutting Methods

Waterjet cutting is effective in eliminating HAZ, as we have seen. But also consider eliminating those hazardous fumes when certain metals are heated to those high damage-causing degrees. Waterjet cutting is almost free of any dangerous waste or fumes.

The chemicals and oils used to treat some metals are hazardous when those substances are heated by cutting methods discussed earlier like plasma, laser, and CNC machining. The only damage-causing waste produced by waterjet cutting is the wastewater from cutting contaminated materials, such as lead. In those instances, you will want to provide a safe means to dispose of the wastewater produced from the waterjet cutting process.

Let Elemet Manufacturing Provide Your Precision Waterjet Cut Metal Panels

When your project needs quality waterjet cut metal panels, Elemet Manufacturing is your waterjet cutting service provider. Located in Aitkin, Minnesota, EMI can supply you with waterjet cutting services wherever needed. 

Choosing an experienced waterjet cutting service provider ensures you have high-quality products. Contact Elemet Manufacturing for the best waterjet cutting services today.

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