WATER JET MACHINING ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES BASIC INFORMATION


The key element in water jet machining (WJM) is a water jet, which travels at velocities as high as 900 m/s (approximately Mach 3). When the stream strikes a workpiece surface, the erosive force of water removes the material rapidly. The water, in this case, acts like a saw and cuts a narrow groove in the workpiece material.

Advantages
# It has multidirectional cutting capacity.
# No heat is produced.
# Cuts can be started at any location without the need for predrilled holes.
# Wetting of the workpiece material is minimal.
# There is no deflection to the rest of the workpiece.
# The burr produced is minimal.
# The tool does not wear and, therefore, does not need sharpening.
# The process is environmentally safe.
# Hazardous airborne dust contamination and waste disposal problems
that are common when using other cleaning methods are eliminated.
# There is multiple head processing.
# Simple fixturing eliminates costly and complicated tooling, which reduces turnaround time and lowers the cost.
# Grinding and polishing are eliminated, reducing secondary operation costs.
# The narrow kerf allows tight nesting when multiple parts are cut from a single blank.
# It is ideal for roughing out material for near net shape.
# It is ideal for laser reflective materials such as copper and aluminum.
# It allows for more accurate cutting of soft material.
# It cuts through very thick material such as 383 mm in titanium and 307 mm in Inconel.

Disadvantages
# Hourly rates are relatively high.
# It is not suitable for mass production because of high maintenance requirements.

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