There are multiple methods available when it comes to steel cutting services, each with its own advantages and applications. These steel cutting services include laser, plasma, oxy-fuel, as well as waterjet cutting to name a few. The choice of method depends on different factors like the thickness of the steel, the required precisions, the type of cut, and the overall project requirements.
When it comes to waterjet cutting of steel, this process uses a high-pressure stream of water mixed with an abrasive substance to cut through steel.
This versatile steel cutting service is commonly used in various industries for precision cutting of metals, composites, and a wide range of other materials.
Let’s review the process involved in waterjet cutting of steel, as well as its advantages and most common applications.
The Process Involved in Waterjet Steel Cutting Services
The following is a detailed overview of the waterjet cutting process. A waterjet cutting system typically consists of a high-pressure pump, a nozzle, a hopper to feed the abrasive, and a control system.
1. Design and Programming:
- This process starts with the creation of a digital design or pattern that represents the desired cut.
- The design is then converted into a program that guides the waterjet cutting machine.
2. Material Fixation:
- The material to be cut (such as a steel sheet) is securely fixed to the cutting bed of the waterjet machine.
3. Abrasive Mixing:
- In abrasive waterjet cutting of steel, an abrasive material (such as garnet or aluminum oxide) is added to the high-pressure stream of water to enhance cutting efficiency through hard materials like steel.
4. High-Pressure Pump:
- The waterjet cutting machine includes a high-pressure pump that pressurizes water to extremely high levels, typically ranging from 40,000 to 90,000 pounds per square inch (psi).
5. Nozzle Assembly:
- The high-pressure water-abrasive mixture is forced through a small-diameter nozzle or cutting head.
- The nozzle focuses the jet into a narrow stream, allowing for precise and controlled cutting.
- In some systems, this nozzle can be adjusted to control the size and intensity of the waterjet stream.
6. Cutting Process:
- The high-pressure waterjet, now combined with abrasive particles, is precisely directed onto the material to be cut.
- The high velocity and pressure of the water, combined with the abrasive particles (if used), erode and cut through the material, creating the desired shapes or patterns according to the programmed design.
7. Dynamic Control:
- Advanced waterjet cutting machines feature dynamic control systems that adjust the cutting speed, intensity, and trajectory in real-time, allowing for intricate and precise cuts.
8. Clean-Cut Result:
- As the waterjet progresses through the material, it leaves behind a clean and precise cut without generating heat-affected zones or altering the material properties.
9. Water and Abrasive Removal:
- After the cutting process, any remaining water and abrasive particles on the cut material are typically removed through a drying process.
The Benefits of Using Waterjet Steel Cutting Services
- Versatility: It is a versatile method that can be used for various materials, including metals, plastics, ceramics, and composites.
- Minimal heat-affected zone: Since the process is cold cutting, there is little to no heat transfer to the material, reducing the risk of thermal distortion.
- Precision and accuracy: Waterjet cutting can achieve tight tolerances and intricate shapes.
- Lack of tool wear: Unlike traditional cutting methods that use blades or drills, waterjet cutting doesn’t result in tool wear, providing consistent cutting quality.
Waterjet Cutting of Steel Applications
Waterjet cutting is a steel cutting service used in industries such as aerospace, automotive, fabrication, and architecture for cutting components, parts, and decorative elements.
Steel Cutting Services at Titus Steel
Titus Steel offers steel and die steel cutting services like waterjet cutting for applications where precision, minimal heat generation, and maintaining the chemical and mechanical properties of the steel are a critical consideration.
Contact us today to learn more about our waterjet cutting of steel services and receive a custom quote.