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Micro Waterjet Cutting

Generally the phrase “waterjet cutting” conjures up visions of large machines with deep tanks, of a size that can be quite overpowering, but now Rainford Precision has the task of introducing a small machine with a working area of only 500 x 500mm into manufacturing industries in the UK and Ireland.

New vocabulary with words such as “Finesse, sensitivity and micron accuracy” can now be applied to waterjet machining bringing a wealth of benefits to all who have micro components or micro features on larger parts to be machined.

Positional Accuracy ± 2.5 µm
Process Accuracy ± 10 µm

Importantly because of the machining process there are no heat effect layers on the surface that has just been cut thus offering extra capabilities where laser cutting and wire or sink EDM are prohibited, medical and aerospace industries are good examples.

 

Material cutting capabilities stretch from hard and brittle materials (hard steel, glass or ceramics) to soft and malleable materials (wood, rubber or polymers) but included in this capability are the various forms of composite material that can include metal matrix composites or sandwiches of a whole variety of materials. This photo of a material sandwich is going to the extreme but gets over the capability of this new micro technology.

These examples of micro abrasive waterjet components demonstrate an excellent capability to machine fine features in a variety of difficult materials

Stainless steel

Thickness 0.8 mm
Time to cut 2 mins 10 sec
Feedrate 135 mm/min

Composite material

Photo courtesy of:
Mager and Wedemeyer Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH

Glass

Photo courtesy of:
Mager and Wedemeyer Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH