JetTalk: The importance of water quality

Water purity and its temperature play an important role in the life-span of the machine components. Impure water may cause high-pressure water pumps and nozzles to wear out more quickly.

The water consumption rate of a waterjet cutting machine is generally between two to eight litres per minute, depending on a few parameters such as cutting requirement, pump capacity and size of the orifice. Part of it is also used to cool the oil in the Heat Exchanger within the high-pressure pump. 

The first step to address this is to have the water tested.

Some waterjet companies are able to perform a water quality test for you and recommend suitable water conditioning equipment such as a Reverse Osmosis (RO) filter, water softener and waterjet cutting chiller.

Do ensure that the water is tested for "Total Dissolved Solids" (TDS) as dissolved minerals may affect the working life of the high pressure components while solids in the water may clog filters.

For countries with consistent hot weather throughout the year such as in the Middle East, I would recommend a combination of an RO filter or softener and a water chiller. The atmospheric temperatures in these countries can climb up to 50°C (122°F) in the middle of summer.

Water temperature has a direct effect on the seal’s working life in high-pressure water pumps. The seal may soften, extrude much faster and this increases the need to maintain the pump more frequently. To prevent this, maintain the water temperature at the average of 20°C (68° F).

Lastly, it is highly recommended that you monitor the performance of the RO filter, softener and chiller to ensure that the water is constantly well conditioned.  

By Ajay Thanki,  GMA Middle East

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