Waterjet cutting edge quality refers to how rough the edge of a cut part appears and how square or tapered it is. With waterjet, edge qualities typically range from Quality 1 (Q1) to Quality 5 (Q5) with Q5 being the best, most accurate edge quality. Following are descriptions for edge quality options available when cutting with OMAX abrasive waterjet machines.
Waterjet Edge Quality 1
Q1 is described as a “separation cut”. While Q1 does not produce a high quality edge, it will give you very fast cutting speeds and can be used for roughing out parts. It is a rough cut and the edge has more pronounced lines, called striations or coining effect.
Waterjet Edge Quality 2
Q2 is a medium rough cut. The coining effects are less noticeable than in a Q1 edge and cutting speed is a bit slower than Q1.
Waterjet Edge Quality 3
Q3 is a standard machining cut. The quality is very acceptable with striations on the bottom half of the cut. This quality takes more time to achieve than Q2 and is the most commonly used for acceptable edge quality.
Waterjet Edge Quality 4
Q4 is a higher quality finish. The striations are minimized.
Waterjet Edge Quality 5
Q5 is a very high quality finish. It is very precise and with minimum taper. Q5 will produce the most accurate edge quality before Q6.
Waterjet Edge Quality 6
Q6 is the best quality finish. It is the most precise and with minimum taper. Q6 will produce the most accurate edge quality on your waterjet machine.
In abrasive waterjet machining, the cutting speed and edge quality are directly related. The higher the quality of the cut, the slower the cutting speed. It is possible to choose Q5 or Q6 for every job. However, it may take two or three times as long to achieve a Q5 than a Q3 on the same part. Because the time taken to cut parts is usually a major factor in the cost of a project, you must select the right quality of cut for every job to get the maximum speed for every given job.
For more information visit our waterjet machines section!