How Does a Water Jet Cutting Machine Work?

Despite the advances in metal processing and fabricating techniques, many people are still not aware of what water jet cutting machines are or how they work. But most importantly, they are sometimes oblivious of the help that these groundbreaking solutions can bring to their own business.

With the stiff business climate we have nowadays, one needs to harness all the resources they have as well as all the help they could get. This will help them to stay on top of their game. In the case of water jet technology, here is an in-depth look into what it is all about.

Before anything else, we need to know what water jet technology is.

best waterjet cutting method

What is Waterjet?

This is an innovative, computerized material cutting technology that is capable of cutting through or slicing through almost every imaginable material there is. Regardless of how brittle or fragile your material may be, a waterjet system is powerful enough to cut through them into 2-dimensional shapes.

Granite, marble, porcelain, linoleum, ceramic, vinyl, sports flooring, and all kinds of metals — all these materials can be cut or sliced seamlessly with a water jet process. A qualified cold material cutting/slicing method that does not heat, distort or harden metals. Waterjet system efficiently and cleanly cuts ceramics, stone, and porcelains.

Anything that a computer can draw can be cut with a water jet cutting machine. But there are materials that you can never cut economically into complex shapes if you will use some other material cutting techniques other than the waterjet system. These materials include porcelain, stone, and stainless steel.

Abrasive Waterjet Cutting, How Does It Work?

If you are a customer, what you need to do is submit a blueprint, or a drawing, or an electronic file of the design you have in mind. Your enlisted fabricating team that employs this material cutting technology will take and handle everything for you.

Normally also, they have a dedicated team within the organization that can take charge of the design process. Thus, if there is something, in particular, you have in mind you can delegate it to them instead. Once your design is digitized, the file or your drawing is loaded into the AutoCAD system.

It will then undergo a conversion process into a language that the waterjet cutting machine will read through. This part of the process is referred to as computer-aided manufacturing or CAM. After which your processed image is up and ready for downloading into the waterjet machine system.

Waterjet machines come with 2 components, this is the X-Y-Z table and the high-intensity pump. This is capable of generating 55,000 psi. As for the X-Y-Z table, it is responsible for moving the cutting head over your material.

The intensive pressure generated by the high-intensity pump allows the water alone to cut through foam, plastics, rubber, resilient floor coverings, and many other similar soft substances.

As for the cutting head, this comes with a 0.050 nozzle (¼”) sapphire crystal orifice through which pressurized water is forced through. This is going to be 3x the sound speed, courtesy of the high-intensity pump. The nozzle movement will be determined and guided by the computer and how it interprets the digital file of your drawing.

When trying to work on materials that can be best described as considerably hard such as stone, metals, glass, ceramics, and dense composites, abrasive garnet particles can be fed into the waterjet stream.

This action will help create a more intense erosion action against the material in question, facilitating easier and faster slicing. As a qualified cold cutting process, it will not create heat or exert pressure on the working material.

The use of a water jet cutting machine is an important turning point in the fabrication sphere, both for architectural and industrial applications. With respect to the material in question, intricacy, and thickness of the cut, the anticipated savings from the material cutting technology can be substantial.

Compared to other similar material cutting/slicing methods, such as the plasma torch, routers, electrical discharge machining, or EDM and laser cutting, waterjet systems can serve as a perfect alternative to casting forged blanks. 

Waterjet systems can cut or slice through any material that many industries consider as “un-machinable” with traditional cutting methods.

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How Different is Power Washing From Pressure Washing Using Water Jet Machines?

The working technology behind a water jet machine can be utilized not only for metal cutting purposes but there is an array of other uses for it, too. Like for instance, water jet systems and hardware can be utilized as the base motor for power washing or pressure washing.

But some people are confused between the two since the natural tendency of many of us is to use them interchangeably. The point of concern now is, are they the same or are they completely different from each other? 

Here is something now that will help shed light on this.  

We have this one short but sweet answer to this: They are the same, but they are also different. Oxymoronic statement? Let us expound on this for a better understanding now.  

Their basic function is pretty much just the same. Both activities make use of highly pressurized water, which is significantly helpful in removing deep-seated dirt, grime, gunk, and other stubborn materials from solid surfaces. 

power washing machine

While it is true that they share similar processes, they both come with distinct features that determine how you should be using each service. Otherwise, you will not be able to optimize their results.

When you know how far different they are from each other, you’d be good at judging for yourself which between the two of them would be most appropriate to use for a particular cleaning project. 

What Are Their Key Differences: Power Washing vs Pressure Washing

As far as the pressure of the water is concerned, both methods use similar amounts of pressure. The amount of pressure each one will need will depend upon the kind of machine being used. If you happen to have a household unit, it will never fare or be in close range to the amount of power used by an industrial type of water jet machine.  

If we will be delving only on the types of the machines, we will say that there is 1 key element that will make a power washer distinct from pressure washers, the use of a heating element. 

Both of these machines can create powerful, intensive streams of high-pressure water, but power washers are taking things a notch higher here in the sense that they can also heat the water itself. While this would seem like a tad different, it creates a huge impact on how each is going to be used. 

What is Power Washing?

Power washers use an extremely high-pressure stream of super hot water. The water itself must be heated up first before being used as it will help an awful lot in blowing away dirt, grime, gunk, and many other unnecessary materials normally deep-seated on outdoor surfaces. 

The combination of the high temperature of the water and high pressure makes it highly effective in the seamless removal of deep-seated materials on surfaces. It will effectively take away residue build-up on hard outdoor surfaces like mildew, mold, or salt on outdoor patios, driveways, decks, and so much more. 

As for the added heat, it will render the pressurized water particularly good and effective in unseating stubborn dirt or debris on surfaces. A typical example would be the removal of hardened chewing gums from sidewalks. Besides, power washing is also known to have an unparalleled cleaning power in handling grease stains on garage floors and driveways.

And what about pressure washing?

The odds are high that pressure washing is what you accustomed to using right inside your own home. It makes use of the same amount of high-pressure water, but it is not heated. 

Even though it does not utilize heated water, it can still carry out an amazing job and that is to blast away dirt and debris but may not give out an exceptional job when used on removing mold, moss, or other stubborn substances. While it is still highly effective, it may have a hard time in removing tough concrete stains.  

It won’t matter which of these two types of cleaning method you will decide to use, bear in mind that enlisting the help of a qualified professional for the job will certainly get it done right the first time. If you lack training or exposure on the proper use of a power washer, you will run the risk of inflicting damage on the material’s surface.  

If this technology is the secret power behind the effectiveness of water jet machines, then it should do the same for your power washing and pressure washing concerns.

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