What to Consider Before Buying an Abrasive Water Jet Cutting Machine?

img7 - What to Consider Before Buying an Abrasive Water Jet Cutting Machine?

The Abrasive water-jet cutting technique utilizes an abrasive particle —such as garnet— added to a high-pressure water stream for efficiently cutting through a hard material. The abrasive particle is inserted in the water-jet machine’s nozzle.

When the machine is in operational mode, the abrasive particle cuts the material, and the water’s role is to accelerate the particle suitable for cutting. As the pressure of water increases, the cutting efficiency also  improves.

An abrasive water-jet cutting machine is optimal for all kinds of thicker & rigid materials such as plastics, stones, and metals. It is easy-to-set-up, and fixtures are assembled in a few minutes, and no specialist training is required for operating this machine.

With an abrasive water-jet, you can expect fast cutting, enhanced productivity, and quality parts.

Are you planning to buy an abrasive water jet cutting machine? Then, you must read on, as in this article, we’ll be putting forth things to consider making the right purchase decision.

1. What Grit Size You Need?

First things first, decide on the right grit size when in search of an abrasive water jet machine. Although this may appear straightforward, it involves complete science that revolves around the performance of the cut you desire.

For precise cutting, opt for smaller grits, whereas large grits ensure productivity, but the cutting will be much rougher. Smaller grits are priced higher than the large grits.

If you are hoping that no secondary finishing procedure is necessitated, then selecting appropriate size grit is vital. A smaller grit produces a more delicate & cleaner finish compared to a larger grit.

In simple words, polished finish that is aesthetically pleasing requires a much smaller grit size.

2. Is There a Need for a Taper Compensation Head? 

Taper compensation is unarguably a misnomer out there. But does it work? The answer is yes if you tilt the jet stream before it penetrates the material. The slight taper in the edges of the water-jet machine transfers onto the scrap material to produce a straight edge on the part surface.

For taper compensation to work, the material needs to be perfectly flat. Further, you require a cutting head that allows tilt movement, rotation, lift, — or commonly known as the taper compensation head.

However, taper compensation heads experience damage from inadvertent operator errors or material tip-ups, leading to costly downtime and price-hefty repairing bills.

The final verdict is to opt for a water-jet machine with a taper compensation head if you have a regular flow of jobs requiring straight product edges. Otherwise, it serves no purpose.

3. Is the Ultra High-Pressure Pump System worth it?

Over the past two decades, water-jet technology has developed significantly for betterment. Buoyed by new materials and upgraded machine engineering, we now have the pressure pump systems exceeding 100KPSI mark.

While, these ultra-high pressure pumps escalate the speed of cutting, but they do come at a premium price:

  • The price of high-pressure pumps is 20-50% higher than conventional pumps.
  • The components needed to deliver high-pressure through the pump must be of high-quality, which means increased upfront cost.
  • The maintenance involved is much more frequent as the machine components wear down because of the ultra-high pressure water.

In real-world applications, the manageable level for an ultra-high pressure pump is between 60 to 70k, to prevent premature damage to the other machine components and extend seal life.

4. Is There a Need for Recycling the Water?

You can add a water recycling system to your water-jet cutting machine to prevent water wastage, but it comes at an hourly cost of $7-9. A water recycling system comprises pumps, water tanks, DI resin contains, staged filtration, and a chiller, and all these components require heavy maintenance to guarantee optimal performance.

The final verdict is buying an abrasive water-jet machine that comes with a water recycling system, only if mandatory as per law in your state.

5. Does Water Quality & Temperature Have a Role to Play?

Yes, they do. The municipal water quality, especially the particulates that it may contain, varies largely from one city to another. Any suspended material in the water can cause significant damage to the jewel present in the spray nozzle; the concentrator in the nozzle can cost somewhere between $80 to $800.

Water temperature is also an essential factor; overly warm water can cause deterioration of the water-jet machinery and interrupt the production.

Consider an abrasive water-jet machine with inbuilt filters to eliminate unwanted particles in the water and then run the water through the chillers to ensure optimum temperature of 45F or 7-degree celsius.

6. Is There Need for Undergoing Professional Training to Operate The Machine?

Typically, operating a water-jet cutting machine is not complicated, basic knowledge of how it works is adequate, and with practice, your team will master the skills to achieve the best results.

Omni CNC—A Premier Supplier Of Precision Water-jet Systems

omni cnc - What to Consider Before Buying an Abrasive Water Jet Cutting Machine?

Buying a functional abrasive water jet cutting machine that fits your budget requires a lot of planning and research, but you can escape this by reaching out to experts at Omni CNC. They’ll carefully understand your requirements, expectations and budget and make an honest recommendation based on their years of practical industry knowledge and vast experience.

At Omni CNC, we design & manufacture value-for-money water-jet machines for cutting stone, marble, glass & special metals. Our high-performance water-jet machines are equipped with premium-quality components to ensure durability and minimal upkeep.

Our water jet cutting machine is available in several configurations and sizes to meet your specific production requirements and budget.


Get a Custom Quote