The plumbing for an abrasive waterjet cutting system consists of two
subsystems, a supply circuit for the high pressure water and a supply
circuit for the abrasive powder.
The following is a description of these two flow circuits and a
simple diagram which depicts how they interface with the cutting head.
(1) Abrasive Bulk Hopper
(2) High Pressure Pump
(3) Abrasive Metering Hopper
(4) Cutting Head
The waterjet cutting system uses a pump to supply high pressure water
for use in cutting materials.
The high pressure water leaving the pump is conveyed to the
cutting head via a flexible stainless steel tube known as a whip.
An air operated, high pressure on/off valve located above the
cutting head is used to control when the water flows into the cutting
abrasive mineral garnet must be supplied to the cutting head when hard
materials are to be cut.
In order to control the amount of garnet flow to the cutting
head, a gravity fed metering hopper is mounted at the top of the Z-axis.
The metering hopper holds a small amount of garnet (about a
pound) and uses an air operated on/off valve to start the flow of garnet
to the cutting head.
The flow rate out of the metering hopper is controlled through
the use of an adjustment dial to precisely control the flow rate.
The metering hopper is re-supplied through a hose connecting it
to a pressurized bulk hopper which can store between 300 pounds to over
2,000 pounds of garnet.