Waterjet Cutting Expensive? Doesn’t Have To Be

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Date Posted: October 13, 2016

There is little question that waterjet cutting is an expensive cutting process. This is due to high operating and maintenance costs but, more importantly for the customer, cut speed.

Cut speed on Brenco’s two waterjet tables is variable. Speed is measured in percentage of maximum cut speed for the material type and thickness.

At 100% cut speed, the edge quality will suffer as shown on the above photo where you can see the striations on 1” Mild Steel and Aluminum plate. High speed cutting will always produce a part with high accuracy and good finish on the pierce side but as the jet progresses to the underside, dimensional tolerance and definition progressively deteriorate.

The image to the top right of the post shows the same materials cut at 20% cut speed. The cut quality is far superior. Dimensional tolerance and definition are maintained throughout the thickness of the material. But, is it necessary? Unless the edge quality is critical, the answer is usually no.

If the edge is going to be machined or welded, edge quality is not critical. If the material is thin, edge quality is usually not critical since it can’t be seen without magnification. Parts cut at 20% cut speed will take five times longer to cut compared to 100%. Brenco will default to the cut speed (ranging from 20% to 100% at 10% increments) we believe is best for the part based on our understanding of the requirements. Providing us with information that will ensure that you get the correct cut quality will save you money by either reducing your purchase cost or reducing your finishing cost.

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