Cutting narrow incisions with ultra-high precision in high density materials using waterjet technology requires a specific waterjet cutting process: the Fine Abrasive Waterjet process (FAWJ). The first FAWJ cutting head was developed by Water Jet Sweden in 2008.
Fine Abrasive Waterjet bridges the gap
Waterjet cutting is a common method for processing parts in high density materials such as aluminum, stainless steel, titanium and carbon composites. The FAWJ cutting process bridges the gap between micro laser and EDM cutting and brings water jet cutting into the field of micro part processing.
To enable such levels of precision you need two things: (1) a cutting head and cutting process for FAWJ cutting, and (2) a machine built for extreme accuracy. The NCM 10 Micro from Water Jet Sweden fulfils both of those requirements.
FAWJ cutting process for 0.2 mm incisions
The first micro waterjet cutting head was developed by Water Jet Sweden in 2008. It is a high precision cutting tool producing one of the most precise abrasive water jets in the world. The unique cutting head enables an abrasive jet diameter down to 0.2 mm. The FAWJ cutting process requires very fine abrasives of 230-240 mesh and a special CNC controlled dosage abrasive feeder.
Machine table designed for ± 0.008 accuracy
To reach the levels of accuracy required in micro part manufacturing, the NCM 10 water jet has a number of unique design features to create a rigid table that withstands temperature fluctuations:
-Mineral Casting Bearlit table frame – a table frame made of a composite material with exceptional stiffness that withstands vibrations and temperature fluctuations. The frame is integrated in the machine construction and motion system as a complete unit.
-Rubber suspended stainless steel water catcher – the free-standing catcher solution prevents vibrations and temperature variations from influencing the cutting process. Stainless steel makes it maintenance free.
-Renishaw Invar Scale in X and Y – with a Renishaw Absolute Linear Encoder fitted in both X and Y axes you have a micrometer scale with an extremely low expansion coefficient and ultra-high resolution.
Prepared for any kind of fixtures
The palettized cutting table makes it easy to install fixtures and presses for different types of machining. Maximum table size is 1×1 m which covers most cutting applications. The cutting table is fixed into the table frame to enable ultra-high precision cutting.
“There are many suppliers who state that they offer micro cutting machines, but not many can offer a true micro part cutting tool with 0.2 mm incision combined with ± 0.008 accuracy,” says Tony Rydh, co-founder and CTO at Water Jet Sweden
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Fine Abrasive Waterjet Cutting vs. EDM
Extruder tool matrix
Tempered tool steel, 15 mm
Max. speed 11 mm/min
Min. speed 4 mm/min
Cutting accuracy: 0.02 mm
Manufacturing time: 1 h 30 min
Prime cost: € 180
Speed: 1 – 2 mm/min
Accuracy: About 0.001 mm
Manufacturing time: > 8 hours
Prime cost: € 480