(featured in The FABRICATOR – 12/15 & originally appearing in CIM-Canadian Industrial Machinery – 10/15)
The better the water, the longer the life of tubes and seals.
Waterjet components are sensitive. Feed them water that is not too dirty, not too clean, not too warm, but just right, and they reciprocate with more cutting hours between maintenance cycles, which equals more profit. Running just-right process water through the direct-drive or intensifier pump extends equipment and seal life; reduces maintenance and downtime; and ensures a tight, efficient cutting flow (see Figure 1). It’s not that tap water is always too dirty. Some OEMs go by this rule of thumb: If you can drink it, you can cut with it. But water from a city supply or a well might prevent the touchy high-pressure seals and lines, seat and poppet valves, plungers, and other critical parts from working together to make you the most money.
Know Your Water Quality
Jim Fields, national sales manager for TECHNI Waterjet™, agreed that however it is achieved, water quality is critical. “Before we put water through a pump at a new installation, we look at the water’s alkalinity, silica level, totally dissolved solids [TDS], and the hardness of the water [see Figure 2 in the article]. The equipment components and their seal life depend on that quality. “If bad water is going through those seals, life could be reduced to 100 to 300 hours. When an expected seal lifespan degrades, research shows that quite often it’s caused by something involving water.”
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