Abrasive vs Pure water cutting What is the difference between abrasive and pure waterjet cutting?

Abrasive waterjet cutting uses an abrasive particle (e.g. garnet) added to high pressure water to cut through hard materials. The abrasive particle is added to the water in the nozzle of a waterjet cutting machine. In this operation, it is actually the abrasive particle that does the work of cutting the material. The role of the water is to accelerate the abrasive particle up to a speed suitable for cutting and to direct the particles to the chosen cutting point.

Cutting effectiveness can be improved by increasing the water pressure, thus accelerating the water and particles to a higher speed, or by increasing the flow rate of water and particles, thus increasing the rate of impact of particles on the material. Abrasive waterjet cutting is ideal for harder or thicker materials like metals, stones, or thick plastics.

Pure waterjet cutting is a term used to describe the process of waterjet cutting without the addition of abrasive particles. In this case, it is the pressure and speed of the water itself which penetrates the material. Pure waterjet cutting is ideal for softer materials like fabrics, rubber, or metal foils. One key application for pure water cutting is in the processing of food where strict health regulations governing the industry can be met by using pure water without abrasive additives.

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