What are Popular Characteristics of Drilling Techniques?

It is normal for drilling operations to come with several objectives, and there is nothing unusual to that. Sometimes, this may involve collecting rock samples from a specific underground location and bringing it up to the surface.

This is just one of several kinds of drilling techniques and is referred to as core drilling work. 

Normally, exploration wells come in varying depths. The deepest so far has reached around 12, 345 m, and you will find this in Eastern Russia, near the Sakhalin island. Besides collecting samples of rock, drill holes will also let you carry out several geophysical measurements. A physical property’s continuous variation description along a well is referred to as a log. 

drilling progress

For instance, when it comes to describing borehole variations during the propagation of sound waves velocity, sonic logging can be taken advantage of, i.e. emitted waves in a frequency range covering our hearing range sensitivity. 

Most often than not, the purpose of drilling is to produce fluids in the rock at a certain depth, regardless if it is intended for hydrocarbons (from a depth of 2000 to 7000m), for drinking water, or geothermal fluids (in the 150 – 5000 m range). 

These kinds of holes are drilled by virtue of a destructive method, the rock will need to get crushed in place with the help of a powerful drill head. The drill bit can be used for this purpose also but needs to be pushed by a drill string.  

The cuttings or the rock debris are taken up to the surface and this is made possible by the use of the mud circulation process, which the drill string injects.  If there is a compelling reason to, necessary adjustments can be made to this slurry and its viscosity to help optimize its cutting removal. Doing so will help ensure that the borehole stability and integrity will be preserved, even when there is a drilling activity  in progress.  

When drilling shallow wells that are intended for the production of drinking water, many contractors choose to employ the simplest, easy to manage drilling techniques available, making use also of  the hole hammer. Such a technique for drilling is synonymous to that of a jackhammer in terms of how it goes, the drill string will work to bring the compressed air to the bottom. Keep in mind that the air pressure here must be sufficient enough to lift the weight of the water that is filling the borehole. 

For better understanding, blowers that are powerful enough to reach pressures around 100 bar can be taken advantage of at depths not above 80 m. In an ideal world, this drilling technique is used mainly for 200 m depth boreholes or less.  

Boreholes must be tubed regularly after they reach a certain depth level, which will help put balance in the stresses the rock supports at the borehole wall. This kind of operation is referred to as the casing of the well, where the casing is the steel pipe left in place. The casing will have a designated number of slots that will make it possible for its required fluid produced during the manufacturing stage. 

Most of the time, the casing is cemented, which will help in keeping any fluid from going up along the borehole. The moment the casing is secured inside a watertight manner, production fluid is ensured. This can be attributed to the perforations made possible by the different types of techniques that operators often say are varying.  

In conventional drilling techniques, one hand would allow your drill string to infuse the mud used in extracting rock debris while on the other make the drilling tool rotate on its axis. This type of rotation operation comes with significant amounts of friction throughout the process, causing the drill string to wear out fast for deep drilling. 

To overcome these hurdles, self-rotating drill heads without needing to rotate the drill string was developed gradually. Besides, these turbines were designed with a mechanism that will make it possible for it to control the direction of the drilling action. Such techniques for drilling allow for horizontal drilling operations over a minimum of 10-kilometer distances.  

The Advantages of a Waterjet Cut and the Processes Involved with It

The quality of a waterjet cut is not like any other. While this method of cutting for metals and many other similar objects have existed for many years now, it is only recently that its popularity and wide-scale use began to grow immensely. 

Nowadays, we may be living in a modern era where business organizations have a manifold of manufacturing processes to choose from. If your goal is to find the most versatile solution for your material cutting concerns, waterjet cutting machines may well provide the solution you are looking for.

The Waterjet Cutting Procedure

If like many others, you are not acquainted with how a waterjet cut machine works, we recommend that you join us in taking a look at the process in closer detail. 

As the name itself suggests, water jet cutting makes use of highly pressurized water to cut through a wide spectrum of materials, even if it comes with intricate designs and shapes. 

Water alone will not work. First, it needs to have a pressure level of at least 50,000 pounds per square inch. Then, it is made to pass through an opening, which is usually made from a diamond or ruby and then finally directed towards a very tiny nozzle. 

The action described above will help create a vacuum. It will draw in your choice of abrasive substance. By virtue of water, extreme pressure and abrasive material, the waterjet will cut through any material rather quickly and easily.  

Waterjet Cutting and Its Advantages

Now that you have a good idea of how a waterjet cutting machine works, it is time that we peer into the reasons why they are far more advantageous than other modern methods of cutting metals. 

Waterjet cutting can be applied on almost every material you can imagine cutting, and industry experts are saying that this is its biggest advantage, so far. It allows you to cut various materials, ranging from wood, metal, plastics, rock, glass and a whole lot more. In addition to that, it can only create minimal stress on your materials. This signifies that it comes with a very small chance of distortion and any other similar type of damage to your material. 

Waterjet technology is reputed for its high quality of cuts. Decide to take advantage of this cutting method and you can anticipate nothing less but rounded edge and perfectly smooth designs. It will be very hard not to appreciate the final cut for your project. 

Compared to other methods of cutting, it is way more affordable than many other options you can think of. The underlying reason behind this is the fact that the use of waterjet cutting eliminates the need for secondary operations. 

Expediting the time needed to produce your product offerings and lowering your expected overall costs — this is one waterjet cutting benefit that no business owner can resist.  

Finally, and honestly, I think this is more important than everything else, the use of waterjet cutting machine will not put the environment in harm’s way. This is an environment-friendly solution to create your product offerings. 

It is virtually zero waste during the process, and what is even more surprising which is contrary to the general impression about it, it only requires a little amount of water. 

Therefore, if you are seriously looking for the most pragmatic way to manufacture your products using green principles, then the best choice you can have for that is no less than waterjet cutting.

The Proper Way of Maintaining Your CNC Cutter

When you own a machine shop, the upkeep or maintenance routines you have for your CNC cutter systems would most likely seem like a boring chore to make yet you must ensure they are properly observed now and then. If one of your machines break down, it will eventually cost your business thousands of dollars not just for the repair costs but also for lost business opportunities. 

These industrial machines, regardless of size, shape, and purpose they have, are comprised of mechanical moving parts. They usually have high tech internal pieces that will inevitably breakdown in time, but in the absence of proper care and maintenance, downtime is likely to happen sooner. However, alleviating the risks of costly work stoppages is possible if you are going to maintain a long term preventive plan. 

CNC plasma cutter

Daily CNC Plasma Cutter Maintenance

Daily maintenance routines for your CNC cutter systems are comparable to “an apple a day for humans. If consuming an apple a day will help keep your doctor away, proper daily care for your industrial machines will help keep them from the machine emergency room. It may indeed sound simple and easy to do, but they indeed are. 

If you make it a habit to perform a round of few minor checks at the end of each shift, there is a big chance or possibility that you’d be able to identify a looming problem even before they snowball into what can be considered as a major breakdown. Experienced machine tool specialists have provided the following valuable tips. You can incorporate them into your daily maintenance schedule: 

  • Check those fluids. Your CNC-technology based machines require an adequate amount of fluid levels, this includes hydraulic fluid and lube. If you will regularly work with your machines, you will surely have a good baseline on how frequently you should replenish the fluids. The moment that your industrial machines started to consume fluids at a higher rate, then take it as an indication that you need to have your machine checked at once. Excessive consumption or use of fluid is one of the indicating factors that there could be a problem with your machine.  
  • Grease up your machine. Grease is the linking factor, the smooth operator that will help in keeping your machine’s working parts moving. Be aware though that not all machine shops would initiate checking grease points every single day. However, one of the best practices you need to observe in this regard is to check out all moving parts of your industrial machine and see to it that it does not have any dry spots. A small shot of grease will surely go a long way to alleviating unwanted machine wear. 
  • Renew your machine with a good, decent rag. Make it a habit to wipe down your industrial machine and all its exposed surfaces. Doing so will help show some shine on it just by cleaning away your shop’s random grime. Additionally, wiping your machine squeaky clean at the end of every shift will help prevent small fragments of metal shavings from building- up along areas of your machine that are prone to damage, this may include your way cover seals.  

PMP or Preventive Maintenance Plan

A preventive maintenance plan or PMP in place is paramount to keeping your shop machines running in their tip-top shape. If they are always in good, running condition, rest assured that they will significantly help you earn money. Regular machine and equipment check-ups will help boost your company’s output efficiencies and improve expected profit margins. 

If you are not convinced yet, consider this instead. 

Unexpected and unplanned CNC machine breakdowns would usually cost your business 5 times more compared to annual PMPs. Between wasted hours and expedited part shipment, a preventive maintenance plan in place will help be on the winning side by virtue of maintaining your machine most cost-effectively.

Machine Repair or Replace? Which Way to Go?

Equipment ages past its key for reasons. Probably the most common of which include fatigue, corrosion, and erosion that requires machine repair. Plants might have changed the processes of theirs to adapt in time but haven’t been able to configure pieces with these variations. For instance, several plants have increased the capacity and operating pressures which places a strain on aging products, particularly in the situation of very sensitive components as security relief valves as well as ruptured discs.

machine repair

It’s believed that about one-third of relief valves neglect to perform as designed due to these changing conditions. Back pressures that weren’t initially present in the first style might not be believed by those now running the plant. This is also present in instances where management changes over new conditions and the years aren’t considered.

Machine Repair: Repair/Upgrade vs. Replacement

When determining whether to hold on to a piece of gear through regular maintenance or even invest the money to update or even change it, managers need to take into consideration a variety of variables. These things vary per piece of gear but generally include:

  • Age of the equipment
  • Just how many hours it’s been in use
  • The problem of the working environment
  • Expected life cycle with or with no repairs/upgrade

This combination determines exactly how long equipment could run to specifications before the price of common maintenance as well as repair exceeds the price of changing the gear. This estimation must also think about the generation and operator expenses related to any equipment downtime as well as the demand for supplemental rented equipment.

It’s also essential in order to build maintenance efficiency and its price as a fraction of replacement asset worth, or maybe RAV. In order to use a good example, a plant that usually spends $300,000 per season in order to preserve gear that may be replaced or even enhanced for $10,000,000 has a three percent RAV.

Misdirected Management of Aging Equipment

It’s believed that over half of common maintenance activity in plants is not needed, which includes regular product inspections, preventive upkeep, and other things. The truth is the fact that many instruments work orders don’t end up in corrective action, as it’s typical to locate that nothing is at first wrong with the gear. Even though many valves are generally eliminated for rebuilding, oftentimes, just a portion truly needs this considerable service. Many plants decide to re-calibrate transmitters before setting up and then once again each season even though original calibration is much more correct and certainly will stay stable for 5 to 10 years.

It’s believed that a method plant’s maintenance division averages about a third of the efforts of theirs on wrench time. Most of the time of theirs and energy is devoted to information processing, job orders, along with other paperwork. 

Using automated instruments to do these chores can boost the wrench time to half or even more. When rushed, often wrench time can in fact lead to counterproductive methods. Issues can arise during reassembly, incorrect tightening, misalignment, and other slips. It’s believed that up to seventy percent of device failures occur after that maintenance.

Some Random But Interesting Fast Facts on Drill Rigs Australia

Considered as the lifeblood of the country, the industry of drill rigs Australia is showing a dynamic vibe in recent years. In the business of petroleum oil, drilling rigs are of paramount importance in the exploration, extraction, and refinement of oil deposits. Oil exploration efforts can be done on both the land and the sea. 

If you happen to live in a coastal area where oil refineries are close by, you’d have a good chance of observing how oil rigs work. Oil rigs are very interesting in such a way that they employ intricate processes and can be found in almost every part of the globe. 

Marine Life 

Louisiana State University conducted a study in 2002, and the results of their investigation surprised even the scientific community. According to the results of their research, oil rigs are giving a significant contribution to increasing the presence of marine life surrounding rig operations. Additionally, the study found out that there is a nearly 50% observable increase in marine life activity around active drill rigs as opposed to the surrounding marine areas that are far-flung from it.  

Moreover, the study also found out that, private and commercial fishing trips in the Louisiana area focused the majority of their fishing efforts around oil rigs installation. This goes to show that there is a high concentration of fish and other marine life in the areas where drill rigs are located, proving to us once again that the drill rigs Australia industry is not at all detrimental to the environment.  

Portability

Unlike the predecessors of oil rigs in the early days of oil drilling activities, they are now quite more portable. It is because they allow you to transport them from one drill site to another. 

The towering derrick at oil rig installations houses the drilling pipe and bits, which are all necessary for bedrock penetration for oil exploration efforts. The moment that the oil rig has exhausted all the available oil from a site drilling, the drill well will be sealed off and then the pipe equipment will be hauled back to the rig. It will take a large ship to move the rig and tow it to its next destination.  

Australian professionals, alongside Oceania, enjoy the rank of being the third-highest paid in the gas and oil industries. 

oil and gas

Oil and gas professionals from this region of the world, on average, receive the third highest form of compensation in the world. Leading in this position are the Europeans earning over USD 109K, whereas African salaries would be around six figures also, around USD 98K. However, the current compensation or remuneration packages offered to Oceania and Australian professionals are not lagging or far behind. On average, they receive at least USD 94K every year.  

Australia currently enjoys being the top exporter of LNG 

The country is right now fast becoming the largest, major exporter of LNG or liquid natural gas products. Industry experts have high optimism about this. They believe that there are many good reasons that it will surpass Qatar this year, 2020. 

Other sources are asserting that the LNG industry expansion in the country will be sustained and will continue in attracting project investments. Hence, opening up new long-term opportunities for employment for everyone. 

We will attribute this to the abundant production sources, natural gas fields, and coal seam gas – located onshore in the east and offshore in the west and north.  

Conclusion

The manifold worries that we used to have about drill rigs Australia industry in the many past decades are mostly unfounded. Nonetheless, what they are inadvertently showing us instead is the strength and fortifying industry trends, including the benefits that it has in store for the majority of its highly skilled workers.  

What are the Different Kinds of Drill Rigs Australia?

We classify drill rigs Australia either as an offshore or land. The offshore, as the name suggests handles drilling work on the ocean floor whereas as the land-based drilling would involve drilling work done on land surface itself.  

Onshore or land-based drilling rigs share a common denominator, and the majority of these modern rigs come with a cantilevered mast, or to be more specific a Jackknife type of derrick.  

You can assemble a derrick of this type on the ground. Eventually, you can raise it to a vertical position with the help of a hoisting system. They are usually made from prefabricated sections and will be taken or moved onto site by barge, helicopter, or truck.  

drill rig australia

There are two types for offshore drilling: the floating structure and the fixed structure type. 

The Jack-up Rig

A drill rig of this kind is a self-elevating type. Usually it is applied  for shallower, smaller offshore deposits. The floating platform of the rig will be towed into their proper positions with the use of barges. Following this, the support legs will be lowered down below to the reach of the sea floor. This way the rig will remain above the surface of the water.  

Concrete Platform

This kind of drilling rigs are highly valued in the industry due to their excellent performance. They are most suitable for use in the arctic environment, capable of carrying heavy topsides and highly durable. They usually come with spacious storage capacities. 

Highly economical, too, for water depths that are beyond 150m. For the gravity type platform, you will have no need for additional fixing here because of their sheer heaviness of weight and large foundation dimensions.  

Compliant tower

Fixed platforms  and compliant tower rigs have so much to share in common. Both of them are seabed anchored. Most of the equipment they have are held above the water surface. Since they are primarily designed to be narrow and flexible tower, they are capable of withstanding huge lateral forces and does so by virtue of sustaining  relevant lateral deflections.  

Barge rig

Barge rigs are best described as floating offshore vessels for drilling but they are not the type that is self propelled. The drilling equipment is installed directly on the barge itself and will be towed on site while its hull is filled with enough water. 

This type of drill rigs Australia are ideally applicable in swampy, relatively shallow areas. 

Generally, they are capable of drilling through water depths that are less than 12 feet.  

Tension Leg platform. 

This type of rig is comprised of a floating surface structure. They are being held by vertical and taut tendons, which are linked to the seabed below. With their flexible and long legs, they can manage movement side to side and a little vertical movement, also. This type of rig is capable of operating in as deep as 700 feet of water. 

Submersible rig

This type of drilling rig can handle drilling through water depths of 18 feet to 70 feet deep. They usually come with a floating drill unit and they are equipped with pontoons and columns that when infused with certain amounts of water will induce the pontoons to submerge to a predetermined depth. 

Overcoming Difficult Rock Formations with Sonic Drill

Many people think of giving up when a drilling project would involve a difficult and challenging rock formation. They may not know this yet, but employing sonic drilling for such a project is the sanest thing to do because it is primarily designed for that kind of work or drilling task. 

project coordinator

Deciding to go ahead with a project that seems to entail an insurmountable difficulty is a risk and can’t be taken lightly, especially when something is at stake. If you know that you are about to take on a drilling job that involves working on loose or fragile ground, the use of a sonic drill will make sense.  

All these years, the mining sector has been taking advantage of sonic technology and makes it work to their advantage. They know that with this type of drilling technology, they have a good chance of overcoming obstacles with great efficiency. Other methods of drilling that are still being used today will never be at par with what can be achieved with the sonic method of drilling. 

The high level of success of the sonic method of drilling can be attributed to its use of resonant energy. This frequency force significantly helps the core barrel to advance itself regardless of the subsurface formation you are faced with. With the drilling activity going on, it will generate energy that will be relayed to the drill string and, then, finally onto the bit face. This is considered by the experts as a normal occurrence that may happen at varying sonic level frequencies. 

The string and its sustained rotation will help on ensuring that there is an even distribution of energy here. It is possible to leave an impact on the bit face, which renders the efficient advancing of the string. 

While the sample is contained within the core barrel, the outer casing would be drilled over the barrel, helping it in the process to keep the same depth. This takes away the need for liquid of any kind, even water. The chances that the hole will become and remain stable is high. What does this cover then? Heaving or lose sand, gravel, till, cobbles and boulders. 

Here are some good points on why the sonic drill is considered by expert minds in the business as more advantageous than any other conventional method of drilling. 

Superior information: 

Sonic cutting is very effective in sheering soil. It will be so clean that it will be hard for anyone to spot the presence of liquid around it. Or else it certainly would have diluted or soaked your sample. The drilling process will work in such a way that you are likely to obtain a relatively undisturbed sample, no matter what kind of soil you may be working on. 

With this kind of scenario, you are certain to be a step closer to obtaining 100% core recovery, and this is going to be continuous to the depth. This will translate into superior subsurface information, a crucial factor to have when you need to decide anything about continuing or carrying on your drilling project or chance the course instead.  

Speed: 

The medley of slow rotation and vibration will render the quick advancement of the casing via unconsolidated formations. This gives you a reason to expect a penetration rate that is at least 3 times faster than what traditional overburden drilling is like to have.  

Reduced amount of waste: 

This drilling method, by far, is considered by industry insiders as an efficient drilling process that can be carried out efficiently even without the use of any kind of liquid, which will reduce expected drill spoils and wastes to at least 80%. With other traditional methods of drilling, this is going to be a complete opposite.  

Conclusion

Employing sonic drill, with all the 3 points described above, for what seems to be your most challenging ground drilling project to date will increase your odds of obtaining full control in mapping out your projects’ schedule as well as allowing for better management of your resources, particularly in the financial aspect. 

It also minimizes the chances of your drilling project to fail as well as the possibility of deadlock brought about by difficult subsurface conditions. And the fact that it will also lower your overall costs while keeping the likelihood of environmental impact is a sigh of relief to project handlers.  

What You Need to Know Before You Buy a PlasmaCam Machine in Australia?

Plasmacam in Australia

When the topic of discussion is all about CNC cutting machines, it is hard not to mention plasmacam Australian machines. Expert minds in the industry believe, and are making this assertion, that it is among the world’s leading CNC robotic brands.

It is quite evident that there is an increasing number of machining shop owners in the country that are now making that decision to switch and finally acquire and add CNC plasma cutting tables to their arsenal of machining tools in their shops.

Plasmacam is a computer-guided robotic arm. They guide the plasma torch over the work surface while the process of creating complex and intricate patterns is ongoing.

With the ability of this machine cutting tool to cut a wide spectrum of materials with such an amazing level of precision, the possibilities that you can make a significant amount of profits out of it is almost endless. If you are into creative arts and like making something out of metals, the use of plasmacam can help you create metal art and offer them for sale to art galleries and trade shows.

But the acquisition or buying a CNC machine of this type is not going to be as easy as getting your way to a nearby hardware store and pick one up. Much like anything else, you want to look for value.

If you want to save a considerable amount of time and money for your company, making careful research first is necessary.

Quality of the Machine

This is the first and foremost thing you need to look out for, a high-quality machine. We are having this notion that regardless of who manufactures them, the cost of a single CNC plasma cutting table will always be bordering on being exorbitant. Do some research on this area, so you can be sure you are getting nothing less than a high-quality product that your budget will allow you to buy.

Materials

Carefully inspect the quality of materials utilized in constructing the frame. Is it aluminum or steel? Or perhaps it is something else?

Compared to aluminum, steel is so much stronger and more durable material. Machines that are constructed out of steel tend to be lighter and display on an appearance of flimsiness.

Aluminum machines tend to be bulkier but give you the appearance of strength and durability. Machines that are made from either of these two metals are certain to have enough strength and durability even for the biggest jobs.

Design

The quality of the table design is one important element you also need to look into . There are a lot of factors that will impact the table and its performance. A slight variation, even in the smallest factor, can create a huge impact and that happening may alter the table performance.

For instance, if the sheer weight of the gantry is way too heavy than standard, it will put some strain on handling accuracy and high speed. On the contrary, a light-weight gantry is good in making for you accurate results, even at high speeds.  

Motors

What type of motor do you control the torch with? Stepper motors are recognized as far inferior to Servo motors. You can make them move about to an infinite number of positions, for as long as it is still within the range of its motion. Additionally, it is also equipped with a mechanism that will provide the controller with some feedback.

It will give the controller an idea of the location it is working on at one particular moment. Thus, the controller can make the stepper motor just jump instead of several steps. However, the downside here is that the controller does not have any way of determining if his requested movement actually took place or if it was indeed carried out.

Finally

The things you need to take into account may not be as exhaustive as they should be but make it sure that you verify the warranty period with which the plasmacam table comes with. Are you seeing any indication that the manufacturer would be standing by their products?

When it comes to the offered warranty for these products, a long warranty period is a much better alternative as opposed to a shorter one. You might also want to know if it covers for all parts and components of your plasma cutting table, or perhaps applicable only to some parts? What options do you have in case the warranty period lapses on you? How much would it cost you to replace parts?

Machinery Maintenance for Guaranteed Safety

Progressions in technology have been it possible to revolutionize the way we do things today. With the help of information technology, automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence, alterations were done, the ones that we never imagined to be possible a few decades back. One common factor for the progressions we have now is a machine. It is with the use of machines that we have acquired what needs to be done without having to exert much time and effort into it.

machinery maintenance

A machine is an integral part of any business and without it, the business is bound to struggle. This is also machinery maintenance has always been stressed and made a priority. In every process of production and other related processes, machines make them possible.

Machinery Maintenance: Changing Our Lives

Machines simplify our lives. But, if a problem happens, it can also disrupt the flow of our daily activities and bring hazards if not maintained properly. This is the reason why machine maintenance and safety should be emphasized. If you are an employee or owner of a manufacturing corporation, you can very well prove the inconveniences and dangers that a poorly maintained machine would bring.

Maintaining the machine is very beneficial for the company for a long period of time. With proper maintenance, it helps avoid issues and even lengthen the life of the machine. It is recommended to seek professional guidance when doing maintenance.

Advanced techniques like infrared, sound level measurements, oil analysis, vibration analysis, and many more have been adopted to locate the problems and faults in machines during the maintenance. This is done to ensure that the machines are working properly, and they can carry out repairs wherever needed.

Machine Safety

This is one of the most important aspects that companies need to focus on. This is because the consequences of having powerful machines that could cause dangers to the workers can lead to fatal risks when handling the machines. Therefore, it is a must to install safety guards and protective coverings on the machines to they become risk-free for employees while not affecting its usage.

In this case, you need to look for professional help to acquire machine safety guards that will offer practicality, safety, and ease of maintenance. Make sure that you only look out for firms that have innovative models, as well as safety guards that are custom-made for the facility.

Investing in machine safety and maintenance is very important and will save a lot of money in the long run as there will be lesser repairs which can cost a lot and any issues and problems will be taken cared of. At the same time, it will also help keep the workplace safe and more productive as there will be no bottlenecks of faulty machines. Click this link for more information on machine maintenance.

What Makes WaterJet Cut Machine Distinct from Laser Cutting in Sheet Metal?

waterjet cut machine

For people who are not particularly fond of using water jet cutting technique in their metal fabrication works, it would benefit them to know their best features first. When working on a project that necessitates the use of metal, perhaps what can be considered as the most challenging part of it has something to do with cutting. Things can even come to the worst-case scenario when the metal sheets come in plates with 1” thickness level or sometimes even more.  

You can cut metal sheets to come up with delicate and intricate patterns. You can use either a waterjet cut machine or a laser cutter instead. Note that both of these 2 material cutting methods come with their own set of strengths and limitations. Knowing what these 2 are can make a whole world of difference in deciding which of them would work best for you and your material cutting project at hand. 

Water Jet Cutting

If you happen to have no idea how a waterjet cut machine work, it is comparable to the erosion of, say, a waterfall. Gradually, a waterfall would wear away even the hardest rock on a cliff. Perhaps, their main difference is that, water jet cutting is carried out in warp speed. It also comes with a higher level of precision. 

These jet cutters will make use of high-pressure water. At times, depending on the material you are intending to cut, abrasive particles like garnets or aluminum oxide can be added to the water itself. This measure will further intensify its cutting power a thousand times more. 

The pressured water ejected by the machine can reach a maximum 60,000 psi. This explains the reason why it is ideal for use in thicker sheets of metal, where the use of laser cutters would not practical anymore or would not be viable enough to use.

Even if you try your best effort with a laser cutter to cut through a thick metal sheet, chances are high that what you will have in the end is of poor quality. Something you will not be so proud to present to your customers. 

Metal fabrication centers that are leaning towards the use of water jet cutting machines are doing so due to one of the following four points: 

  1. It is normal for them to work with thicker metal sheets, sometimes with patterns that have large tolerances. 
  2. They want to veer away from the heat produced by the laser cutter, knowing for a fact that this can get in the way of the cut they are trying to make. 
  3. They are handling a wide array of materials. Water jet cutting technology allows you to handle a manifold of materials too, from stone, ceramic, steel, reflective metal and many more.  
  4. With waterjet cut machine, you can work on cutting the metal sheet while remaining flat throughout the whole process whereas, in laser cutting, you may sometimes need to observe leveling. 

Laser Cutting

Even though laser cutters are qualified modern material cutting method, it is unfortunate though that it comes with one major drawback. Laser cutting machines are limited to cut through ⅝” thickness. Going beyond this thickness level, and what you can anticipate having is a poorly executed cut quality. Gives you the impression that, is it a laser cutter that did the cutting? 

laser cutting machine

Although the key selling point of laser cutting are its high level of precision and fast cutting speed, it has its own share of drawbacks, too. It just so happens that it can only handle cutting  ⅝” thickness level, and going beyond might run the risk of compromising the quality already. A custom software application or a bundle computer program that can handle and process a CAD file will initiate and carry out the cutting process within several seconds only. The vast majority of metal fabrication shops in the country employs this strategy for their prototyping requirements. 

Laser cutting machines that comes with a stackable material tower feature is also highly recommended for large production runs. Perhaps, the only thing that is considered manual labor here is the loading of the said material and subsequently unloading of the finished parts. There are also several hundreds of companies that handle long cutting runs overnight, and leaving the machine in their facility unattended.  The laser derives its energy from nitrogen or CO2. Sometimes it would be a combination of gases, transmitted via a beam and under the direction of mirrors.  The beam may offer an output of 1500 to 2600 watts on some laser cutting machines may reach 4,000 watts up to a maximum of 6,000 watts on other pieces of laser cutting equipment. Plexiglass, plastic, wood, and all metals can be efficiently and conveniently handled by laser cutting.