JetTalk: Understanding Kerf in abrasive waterjet cutting
What is Kerf?
“Kerf” is a machining term which refers to the amount of material removed during cutting.
For example, if you cut a metal plate with a saw, some material (which will turn to ‘sawdust’) will be removed as the saw cuts through the plate. When you put the two pieces back together, you will find that the total length is slightly shorter than before. This is due to material loss (Kerf), which is about the width of the saw blade, during the cutting process.
The Kerf effect applies to abrasive waterjet cutting as well. However, these processes produce a smaller amount of KERF (less material wastage) compared to traditional cutting tools such as the saw blade.
Typically, the waterjet Kerf is between 0.030″ to 0.040″ (0.76 mm to 1.02 mm), depending on pump pressure, application, the level of precision and cutting edge requirements.
The ideal abrasive for achieving minimal Kerf geometry
To minimize Kerf angle and the level of precision you require for your cutting projects, it is important that you use the right combination of cutting head, nozzle, waterjet pressure and high quality garnet abrasive. GMA ClassicCut™ 80 garnet which is a uniquely strong natural mineral outperforms other garnet abrasives.
This is due to its inherent strength in three critical abrasive characteristics: Hardness, Toughness (low friability) and Density (specific gravity) which enable your waterjet machine to perform powerfully and efficiently.
Furthermore, the consistent sizing (without coarser grains) and high purity of GMA ClassicCut™ 80 boost your waterjet machine to achieve the highest productivity and Kerf requirements.
Aerospace and military aviation are the two key industries that require high precision waterjet cutting with minimal KERF to cut expensive materials such as titanium, aluminum, nickel alloys and Kevlar.
Critical industries that demand high precision cutting with minimal Kerf
Aerospace and military aviation are the two key industries that require high precision waterjet cutting with minimal KERF to cut expensive materials such as titanium, aluminum, nickel alloys
For many years, GMA ClassicCut™ 80 has been the trusted brand of garnet abrasive in the aviation industry for providing the highest cutting efficiency, edge quality and the Kerf geometry of the finished products are within the required limits.
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By Tiziano Cher, GMA Europe