Water Jetting

2010 January 13
by Joe Johnston

A part of collecting the knowledge necessary to build the roaster involves finding what technologies exist that one might use to build the thing. Since it is but one unit, we need to look at technologies that can economically make one piece rather than a run of 1,000 identical pieces for volume manufacturing.

Today I visited Marzee Water Jet Services to see what water jetting might offer. Water jetting is essentially a high pressure stream of water (up to 90,000 psi) forced through a tiny hole drilled into a diamond or sapphire. A grit made of garnet is added to create an abrasive stream. This steam can cut metal up to 8″ thick! Furthermore, it is reasonably accurate with a tolerance of +/- .003″. They stock aluminum, stainless steel, and mild steel, but I could bring in copper, brass, plastic, stone, etc.

All I need to do is send in a data file of the appropriate format and it goes directly to the controller of the cutter. This greatly reduces set up time. I can see using water jetting for many of the roaster parts. The only areas where it wouldn’t be idea are where greater tolerances are require, such as holes for precision bearings, press-fit, or slip-fit parts. In these cases, conventional machine shop work will be required.


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