water jet cutting machine in action

How the Quality of Water Can Affect the Performance of Your Water Jet Cutting Machine?

Spread the love

One crucial factor that can affect the performance of your waterjet cutting system is the water quality itself. This is the first hurdle you need to deal with since you need to filter out any possible impurity before you can operate your CNC equipment. 

But the question here is how do we measure water impurities if they are so tiny and are almost unseen to the naked eye? We measure them in parts per million, most of us are familiar with this as ppm. Impurities usually consist of dissolved and suspended particles.

Total dissolved solids in average tap water would be ranging anywhere from 140-400 ppm. Should this concentration exceed 500 ppm, it is then considered as highly unsafe and could be detrimental to human health after consumption. 

The water, together with the quality it comes in, that you are supplying to the intensifier pump will directly impact the service life of  the components of the water jet cutting machine. If you will regularly use water with a high concentration of TDS to your equipment, it will eventually accelerate the wearing of your waterjet components that will come in direct contact with your high-pressure water. This is due to the increased level of water abrasiveness from the TDS. 

While this gives the impression that the ideal or desired water quality for a water jet cutting machine is nearing zero parts per million, it would be counterproductive when you try to remove every single impurity that the water has. 

water jet cutting machine in action

The purest, dainty form of water is what we refer to as the universal solvent. Using water of this type to your waterjet system may bring about major issues to this equipment, including metal pitting. Instead of going this route, industry experts would recommend that you consider aiming for low amounts of dissolved solid particulates in the water. This will go for around 60-70 ppm optimal dissolved solids.  

Suspended Solids

It is not just the total amount of dissolved solids that you should concern yourself about, it is also important that you filter the water from any suspended solids. You can effectively trap these solids in water with the use of a filter. 

They constitute a wide array of materials from industrial wastes, silt, decaying plant matter, all kinds of organic materials, animal dander, etc. If you fail to properly address the suspended solids that may be present in water, it may compromise the water jet pump and cut short its service life. Besides, it might also affect the performance of your machine’s nozzles and seals. 

Aside from the points mentioned above, if suspended solids find a way to the high-pressure stream, it will act as an abrasive material and the odds that it will cause unnecessary damage to your high-pressure equipment are high. 

With respect to the size of the solid suspended particles that need to be filtered, their pre-filtration and final filters are designed to carry out this purpose. They are usually installed inside the pump itself before the intensifier. 

You can reach them by the hand in case you need to replace them. Most of the time, the pump PLC does come with a notification feature so you know the best time when you need to replace your clogged final filter. 

pH Level

Of equal importance to suspended and dissolved solids is the water pH level. Water that you intend to use in your water jet cutting system needs to have a pH level of 7. This is either basic or acidic, which is ideal for these pieces of equipment to use.

A water softener may be added if you want to properly and effectively regulate the inlet water pH level. Even the seasoned water jet technicians would agree with us on recommending this quick and easy fix.  

Water Temperature 

The temperature of the water has a tremendous impact on the service life of your water jet components. The very water that gets into your high-pressure pump needs to be cold, ideally below 70* F. Otherwise, water that is warmer than that will run the risk of  harming the longevity of your seals. 

For the majority of water jet system brands, the temperature of a tap water is cool enough to be used in their machine offering. But if not,  they would sometimes proactively recommend a chiller system that you can use for this purpose. 

Conclusion

The most seasoned technicians of water jet systems will agree with us on this. If you want to optimize the service life of your waterjet cutting Melbourne machine, one of the best ways you can do so is to consider investing first in water analysis. Then, you may integrate a water conditioning  system to your water jet machine, and ensure that it really works. 

While there is a need for water jet system owners to analyze first the quality of the water they will use on their water jet system, there would be occasions where treatment of whatever kind will not be necessary. So even if you don’t take any extra effort, you’d still have a water jet system that will still work great and up to your expectations.