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Waterjet Cuttingzine


How to Pick the Right Waterjet Machining Abrasive

The size and type of abrasive selected for your water jet cutting application is among critical attributes that impact performance efficiency and your bottom line. Firstly, look at the material and the cutting configurations before selecting the abrasive. A fabricator will consider the difficulty associated with cutting the material as well as the intended surface finish when deciding on a proper abrasive for the job. To do the job well, the abrasive product should be hard, tough, and dense enough, on top of having the right shape.


Whether the abrasive is natural or synthetic, here's a closer look at the attributes that make it the best for waterjet cutting services.


Consider Hardness


Water jet cutting equipment has to strike a reasonable balance between component damage and speed. You can use your nozzle for longer if the abrasive is soft, but the cutting speed declines. If the abrasive in question is extremely hard, work progresses rapidly but nozzle tear accelerates. Finally, your equipment's cutting accuracy and uptime are lowered, with frequent nozzle replacement introducing more maintenance costs. An abrasive that lies from 7 to 8 on the Mohs scale is ideal for a long lasting cutting tool and excellent working speeds.


Good Density


Mass multiplied by velocity is the function defining the key cutting power of a waterjet. As such, the perfect abrasive constitutes the heaviest particle that the water stream can propel to maximum velocity. The end result is optimization of the cutting force. Some middle ground is necessary in this case considering an abrasive that's too low in density is less powerful, and one that's extremely dense never harness the full velocity potential as it saps the water jet of its momentum. To achieve both cutting power and acceleration, try something with a specific gravity of 4.0.Learn more about waterjet at


Abrasive Toughness


How friable or tough the water jet cutting abrasive is will certainly impact its effectiveness. If the material's not tough enough, it comes apart in the focusing tube, unable to cut effectively for being too soft. Too much toughness causes a rounded abrasive during mixing, making it to blunt to cut well. As such, pick an abrasive that's appropriately tough for the lowest breakdown rate possible, and to generate sharp cutting edges.


Particle Shape


Abrasives come in a broad spectrum of particle shapes, including steel shot beads and razor-sharp crystals in silicon carbide, a man-made abrasive suitable for high-tech projects. It's easy for a fabricator to pick spherical particles if they view a sphere as the best form to deliver mass that's projected through a very powerful water stream. However, some balancing must be achieved for acceleration, wear, and cutting efficiency when choosing the right particle shape for an abrasive, with any water jet cutting project.