What Is It?
A waterjet utilizes a high pressure stream of water to erode a narrow line in the stock material. To cut a wider range of materials from tool steel to titanium to foam, a granular (typically garnet) abrasive is added to the waterjet, increasing the cutting power. Because the abrasive is added at the nozzle, it is simple to switch between water only and abrasive waterjet cutting. This flexibility greatly enhances the versatility of a waterjet machine, as it can easily switch from cutting ½” (1.27cm) foam gaskets to 4″ (10.16cm) titanium brackets.
How It Works?
The motion control system is an essential element in an abrasive waterjet cutting system because the cutting stream bends as it cuts. This means that a waterjet tends to undercut corners and swing wide on curves when moved as one would move a traditional rigid cutting tool. Our system eliminates this issue by using an advanced computer model to accurately predict the motion and shape of the cutting stream and then by using a PC-based motion control system to compensate for undesired jet motion. The result is a fast, accurate part the first time.
Benefits Of Cutting Metal With Waterjet
- No Oil Soaked Chips
- No Heat Affected Zone
The Future Of Waterjet
The combination of reliable pumps, reliable nozzles and easy-to-operate accurate control systems makes waterjet cutting suitable for cutting almost any material quickly and accurately–making waterjets the fastest growing manufacturing technology in the world.
The final barrier to full commercial acceptance of abrasive waterjet cutting was the challenge of controlling the waterjet to create an accurate part because the waterjet stream bends as it cuts. Traditional CNC controllers are not well suited to making the subtle motion changes. Dr. John Olsen turned to the power of the PC as a solution to the challenge. Dr. Olsen accurately modeled the dynamics of the waterjet stream along all points of the cutting path. He was able to predict the effect of the jet bend and use precise control of the nozzle speed to account for it. Our system has a distinct advantage because it’s built using this control technology.