Original Date: 05/23/1994
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Abrasive Waterjet Cutting
Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Keyport's Metal processing and fabrication area has the unique capability to cut a diverse range of materials and material thicknesses offered through the use of an Abrasive Waterjet Cutting system. The system is comprised of a Flow International 9x, 40 Horsepower Intensifier Pump which converts 80 psi filtered shop water to 55,000 psi cutting pressure. Delivered through a computer numerical controlled, X-Y-Z motion system, the water is entrained with a garnet abrasive at the cutting nozzle to create a controlled erosion (cutting) process.
Direct benefits of utilizing this non-traditional cutting practice instead of more traditional cutting saws and plasma cutters are numerous. The process does not create a heat-affected zone on the workpiece, a detrimental effect for secondary operations. Secondly, due to the ability to provide either near net shapes or final dimensional shapes, secondary machining operations are often eliminated. Keyport's machine is capable of working to a +.010-inch tolerance level on parts. Minimal setup time and fixture requirements are other added benefits of the system.
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