How do we define versatility? This is the exceptional ability to adapt to an array of different functions or tasks. And for this, we dare say that if there is one thing that we consider as the epitome of versatility, it should be waterjet glass cutting.
There is a good reason why we have our biases on this. You will hardly find a machine that will let you cut or slice through 15 inches of solid titanium in very precise cuts, that is 1 mm glass sheet, without the use of additional tooling.
The use of a waterjet cutting machine allows you to switch between different materials in a snap. And that alone is impressive already in its own right, but things are bound to become even more exciting after witnessing with your own eyes how outstanding the resulting cut is.
While waterjet systems will take on the majority of the legwork when transitioning to a glass workpiece, any additional amount of effort exerted by the operator will go a long way in as far as achieving the expected final product quality is concerned.
We are giving you below an overview of the general process involved in cutting glass on a waterjet.
Housekeeping and Personal Protective Equipment
Before anything else, it is crucial to secure your work area first. You must see to it that your space is free from anything that can cause potential slip, trip or anything that can become a fall hazard. As much as possible, sweep your work area first to remove small hazards in the form of bolts or dropped screws
Clearing your area of any kind of potential hazard will lessen the odds of the glass cutting piece from breaking, but most importantly, it will ensure that the waterjet operator will be safe all throughout the process.
When it comes to waterjet glass cutting, we highly recommend that you use either 120 or 150 abrasive mesh for this. It is a finer abrasive that will help minimize the possibility of chipping, cracking or shattering – but most importantly it will further enhance your products overall edge quality.
See to it that you properly level your waterjet cutting table. If your cutting table is somewhat unstable or unlevel, it will induce stress on the glass workpiece. If that happens, it may pave the way for not just poor edge quality but also uneven cuts.
We also recommend that you look for something soft and yet sturdy and durable material that can work as a sacrificial object. This may come in the form of foam, wood, or a drywall perhaps, and you can have them nestled between the glass workpiece itself and the cutting table.
This will serve as a foundation for the workpiece and keep it from getting damage due to metal cutting table contact. Besides, it will also minimize the appearance of glass underside frosting brought about by the abrasive which the support grates are reflecting off.
Waterjet Cutting on Glass
After you have ascertained that your workpiece is fully supported and with respect to the cutting table it is completely level, you may now proceed to waterjet cutting proper. As for the abrasive flow rate, you can set it back to normal and you may want to revert the pump pressure back to 60,000 psi.
You may proceed now with the full cutting process, but make sure that your pierce points hold through your pre-pierced locations.
Keep an eye on the cutting speed on the glass. The abrasive eroding will likely create a vertical force through the glass. This will likely add up more stress on your workpiece. When working on thin glass sheets, we suggest that you slow down your cutting head. By doing so, you will prevent adding excessive amounts of vertical pressure to the sheet.
Remove the Workpiece
You can now unclamp your workpiece from your cutting table. Bear in mind that your glass structure is now altered and thus may necessitate different kinds of handling in order to keep it from getting damaged.
As you can see, waterjet glass cutting need not be a complicated process. The pointers we shared above can be taken advantage of as a general guideline to help in minimising any kind of possible damage to your workpiece.