Good abrasive management can offer you several advantages. In the area of waterjet cutting, it is possible to cut with an abrasive. The choice for the material you want to cut is practically unlimited.The cut is accurate. Because of this accuracy, you do not need to rework the materials, in contrary to laser and plasma cutting. Also, optimal abrasive management can save you costs.
But what is abrasive management? And how do you ensure that your abrasive flow is set up optimally? We discuss it in this blog.
What is abrasive cutting?
First of all, it is important to know what abrasive cutting means. On this page, we explain this in more detail. In short: abrasive is added to the water. This is used to cut as effectively as possible. Adding an abrasive is ideal when cutting harder or thicker materials. Metals, stones and thicker plastics, for example.
What does abrasive management involve?
Abrasive management is setting up your complete abrasive waterjet cutting setup. We have translated this idea to a complete machine set-up for continuous abrasive supply and removal. Your set-up may comprise different systems, depending on your needs and resources.
Abrasive is one of the largest operational costs of a waterjet cutting machine. Therefore, an optimized abrasive flow is a great advantage for your activities to save costs.
Parts of your setup
Your abrasive setup can consist of several systems, which together ensure maximum uptime. This uptime is achieved by a continuous inlet and outlet flow of abrasive.
An abrasive feeder is a dosing wheel that delivers the abrasive. The feeder is mounted on a motor shaft and is adjustable in speed. At a higher speed, more abrasive is delivered.
The big advantage of the feeder is the control you have on the abrasive supply. An irregular abrasive flow harms the cutting quality. By assembling and adjusting the feeder correctly, you ensure a correct supply, which saves you costs on the abrasive and possible rework of the material.
Abrasive pressure vessels
Abrasive pressure vessels store the abrasive and deliver it to your waterjet cutting machine. The vessel has a valve through which the abrasive is delivered. The Resato pressure vessel prevents blockage of the abrasive supply through a sieve. Abrasive, plastic and other materials are left behind while the abrasive runs through.
If you need to refill abrasive directly in the machine, the entire set-up is down. By adding a system that continuously adds abrasive to the pressure vessel, you save downtime. You can fill this large pressure vessel without interrupting the cutting process.
Resato has developed a continuous feeding system that contains a smart technology: a sensor measures the abrasive level. When the abrasive is below a certain level, a 'silo low-level' message is sent to your waterjet cutting machine. This way you can refill the silo in time.
Abrasive removal system
Used abrasive sinks to the bottom of the water basin and sounds like the tide line on the beach. On average, the water basin collects 15 to 20 kilograms of used abrasive per cutting head per hour. Over time, the water basin becomes full and you need to empty it.
An abrasive removal system separates the water from the abrasive. Waste abrasive is not re-usable and various types of waste are created in the cutting process as often different materials are cut. Cleaning, drying, and sieving on the right grain size is expensive. The abrasive removal system filters out all the abrasive and you can easily dispose of it with the chemical waste.
The water/abrasive mixture is pumped out of the water tank in this system. Subsequently, a so-called 'Big Bag' filters out the used abrasive, which remains behind. The water is pumped back to the water tank to unwind the abrasive.
Optimization of abrasive management
Having these machines for your abrasive management is beautiful, using them right fantastic. For optimal management, you need to take several aspects into account.
One of which we have already discussed with the feeder: a correct configuration for all machines is essential. But what is an optimal configuration for you? This depends on the thickness of your material. Thicker material requires more abrasive and the speed at which it is cut determines your cutting quality. You can adjust the amount of abrasive in the software. Our experts will be happy to help you calculate the right configurations.
Another aspect is the abrasive itself. Depending on your application, using the right type of abrasive can make finishing your material superfluous. This saves you valuable time and extra costs. There are several suppliers on the market. The abrasives they offer differ in size, because the abrasives are collected at different locations or processed (sieved) differently. This gives you the choice between an 80 mesh coarse grit, a 200 mesh fine grit, and everything in between. Therefore, choosing the right grit can take more time than initially thought.
Our waterjet experts will be happy to assist you if you would like to know more about abrasive cutting and the most optimal abrasive set-up for your situation. Please contact us via this form or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.