How water-jet cutting works
Water-jet cutting is a manufacturing process that uses a hyperbaric water jet to cut the material (examples: foam, leather, metallic materials, composite materials, agri-food products etc.).
The water is pressurised (up to 6000 bar) by means of a hydraulic pump and a pressure booster. It leaves the cutting nozzle :
- at a speed of 900 m/s, at 4135 bar (around 3 times the speed of sound)
- at a speed of 1,200 m/s at 6150 bar (around 4 times the speed of sound)
A distinction is made between two cutting techniques:
- Pure water cutting (for all soft materials)
A cutting nozzle with a diameter of 0.10 mm to 0.20 mm (inlaid with an industrial sapphire).
- Abrasive water cutting
The water, or more accurately the liquid, can contain additives, in particular to facilitate the cutting of the material. Water-jet cutting with added (garnet-type) abrasive, with a grain size of 80 to 120 mesh as standard, enables the cutting of metals, stone, marbles, and glass, with thicknesses ranging up to 200 millimeters. The water passes through the nozzle with a diameter of 0.20 mm to 0.40 mm (inlaid with an industrial sapphire or diamond) at which point sand is added; the water and sand pass through the focussing gun, which ensures that the mixture takes on a cylindrical shape; the focussing gun has a jet diameter of 0.50 mm to 1.2 mm.