What is abrasive cutting of metal

Abrasive cutting of metal was invented by Mohamed Hasheesh in 1980, it has been successfully used for 45 years. Before its appearance, solid metal structures were cut using high-power directional water pressure.

Graph of choosing the best way to cut metal

Graph of choosing the best way to cut metal.

Thanks to an employee of Flow International Corp. the idea arose to dilute water with abrasive sand, which several times increases the force of the water jet, and the process of metal cutting becomes more productive. Since 1983 of the last century, mass production of waterjet cutting machines has been launched.

Today, waterjet metal cutting is highly popular and has a decent niche in the market. Despite the fact that the method was invented long ago, it competes with modern methods of cutting metal structures (laser, plasma, and mechanics).

The main advantages of waterjet cutting

The main advantage of this method is a wide profile of orientation. It is used for cutting aluminum and other non-ferrous metals with a light structure. Abrasive cutting confidently enough copes with hard materials, which include stone, glass and plastic structures with a lot of layers.

Water pressure with abrasive sand is an endless resource that does not wear out with the passage of time. The thickness of the head is 0.5-1.5 mm. Its diameter depends on the type of nozzles and mixing tubes used. Due to the thinnest diameter of the water jet, the treated surface practically does not emit waste. The cutting process can be carried out in any direction and begin at various points on the surface.

Diagram of the device cutting head waterjet

Diagram of the device cutting head waterjet.

Another indisputable advantage of abrasive cutting is the absence of any damage after processing the structure. Since the water jet does not increase the temperature of the metal and does not affect it by force, the whole process is carried out very carefully. Even lightweight metals are not subject to change. For example, during the cutting of aluminum, the probability of its deformation or melting is excluded.

As you know, water wears away a stone. Therefore, the procedure of abrasive cutting can be called absolutely environmentally friendly, it was given to us by nature itself. In the process of processing various materials, regardless of their degree of flammability, the risks of their ignition are completely excluded. This factor makes abrasive cutting an indispensable method of cutting ceramic and composite structures with a lot of layers. Other methods of cutting these materials pose a potential hazard, so their use is undesirable.

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The principle of abrasive cutting tools

Powerful water pressure occurs under the influence of a special pump, which is the main functional component of the machine. Today 2 types of such pumps are used:

  • plunger;
  • straight lines.

Each of them is selected on the basis of the target application of the machine. Despite the differences in functionality, they create almost the same power.

There are also very powerful devices (Hyper Jet), which give an outlet pressure reaching 6 thousand bar. This allows you to double the productivity of the machine.

Concentrated water pressure under a certain pressure moves in a special tube, which is made of the strongest alloy. It is transferred to the nozzle, which forms the thinnest jet with the help of a nozzle. This jet reaches the area of ​​mixing with sand and is transferred to a special nozzle through which the procedure of processing the metal structure is performed. It is worth noting that under such pressure the speed of the water pressure is almost 4 times higher than the sound one.

The size of the nozzle and mixing nozzle depends on the power of the pump used.

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