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Mid-rail hyrdocut provides versatile waterjet cutting

ESAB Group : 11 April, 2001  (New Product)
ESAB Automation's versatile mid-rail Hydrocut waterjet cutting machine is a rugged gantry-type machine, capable of cutting virtually any material, from cardboard and foam to steel and inconel. It is available in many different configurations and sizes and can be supplied with non-abrasive or abrasive cutting heads, depending on the application requirements.
The mid-height gantry beam provides good access to the table for loading and unloading sheet material and cut profiles, yet it retains a high degree of rigidity to ensure the machine's accuracy. Three bed sizes are available, ranging from 2.4 x 1.2 metres to 3.7 x 3.7 metres, and the positioning accuracy is a remarkable 0.13mm with a repeatability of 0.03mm. High quality brushless AC servo drives are used on all three axes, with precision ballscrews on the X and Y axes. The machine has a high cutting and positioning speed.

A vision CNC system provides the machine control, with optional post-processing software and remote control pendant available. Other machine options include a slave carriage, a maximum of four waterjet heads, a plasma cutting and marking system, and a filtration table.

Customers can choose between the non-abrasive cutting head, which is suitable for many applications, or an abrasive cutting head for increased cutting capability. For non-abrasive cutting, consistent stream coherency is achieved by stabilising the flow of water prior to it entering the orifice. When the abrasive cutting head is added to the non-abrasive head, the dry abrasive is mixed into the high velocity stream of water in the mixing chamber. The resulting mixture is extremely consistent and the design of the components ensures the repeatability of the cutting centre. These two factors ensure that the ultimate accuracy is obtained from the Hydrocut waterjet cutting machine.

The high speed, accuracy and versatility of waterjet cutting mean that the process is increasingly being recognised as a cost-effective means of cutting a wide variety of materials. No heat is used in the cutting process so there is no heat affected zone in the cut profile and therefore no distortion or cracking. It is possible to use the waterjet cutting process to create precise contours, intricate shapes, and sharp or bevelled angles, which can avoid the need for follow-on machining operations. Further edge preparation can also be eliminated in many cases, due to the high quality of the cut. Materials that can be cut by the waterjet process include paper, cardboard, foam, plastics, glass, aluminium, titanium, steel and inconel.
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