What to Check in Abrasive Water Jet Machine Cutting Maintenance
Abrasive water jet machines are powerful pieces of equipment for both fabrication and machining shops. Keeping them that way is integral to ensuring streamlined operations, high quality results, and cost efficiency.
Maintenance is necessary to equip your facility for the benefits that come from an abrasive waterjet cutter. Make sure to check, especially, for the following:
Hard water is one of the main culprits behind increased operational costs in cutting facilities, and it also plays a direct role in the premature degradation of components. During maintenance, verify that the water that enters the machine still meets the specifications of the manufacturer. The amount of total dissolved solids, in particular, should be examined to ensure smooth operations.
If you find that the water in your facility needs treatment, invest in the necessary equipment. The initial costs of installation of such a system will eventually pay for itself, over time. Also, it will not be as expensive as operating with hard water will be, over time.
The abrasive in the machine itself wears away the cutting head, and you should be on the lookout for interior cuts that get bigger, as well as outside cuts that get smaller. Another telltale sign is the reduced quality in the parts that the machine cuts.
To prevent the speedy degradation of the cutting head, it is imperative that facility managers track the number of operable hours that the nozzle has logged; it is estimated that the abrasive cuts into the component by 0.0001 inch per hour of cutting. Additionally, you can consider adjusting the kerf compensation to manage tolerance limitations.
Jewels in the water nozzle have differing life spans; sapphires and rubies can last from 40 to 80 hours, while diamonds can last much, much longer. These jewels get contaminated and compromised when there is hard water in the system, material flakes off inside the high-pressure tubes, or the final filter before the cutting head is not maintained well.
When checking the water nozzle, look for poor edge quality. You can also clean it with an ultrasonic cleaner.
Other components that should be checked include the mixing chamber, the pneumatic valve, high pressure lines and fittings, as well as hand valves and connectors.
For comprehensive guidance on how best to maintain your abrasive water jet machine, Techni Waterjets can help. Drop us a line today and visit us on www.techniwaterjet.com. Also check out this maintenance video below.