Almandine garnet is considered the mineral with the best characteristics for waterjet cutting. BARTON’s 4-tiered line of waterjet abrasives is the most extensive in the industry. BARTON garnet offers optimal hardness, density, toughness, and particle shape for waterjet cutting. These four factors combine to determine cutting speed and nozzle wear. Fabricators need to find the best balance of cutting speed and nozzle wear for their application.
It is important to find the right balance between cutting speed and component wear. A hard abrasive cuts faster but can erode the nozzle too quickly. A soft abrasive extends nozzle life but slows down cutting speed. BARTON garnet falls between 7 and 8 on the Mohs scale, which offers a good balance between cutting speed and nozzle life.
The principal cutting force of a waterjet is a function of mass multiplied by velocity. The ideal abrasive has the heaviest particle that the water stream can accelerate to maximum velocity. A waterjet abrasive with low density may be too light to pack much of a punch. One that is too dense, or heavy, can’t accelerate to the velocity needed to do the job. The key is to find an abrasive that hits the sweet spot, like BARTON almandine garnet. It has a density of 4.0 (four times the weight of water) and is in the ideal range for both punch and acceleration.
When an abrasive is too “tough its edges tend to round off during the mixing process, making it too dull to cut well. It’s described as having “low friability.” Particles that are too friable break down in the focusing tube and end up too fine to cut effectively. BARTON garnet abrasives have a semi-friable nature. They break apart into smaller pieces with sharp, angular cutting edges that cut with greater efficiency.
The most suitable particle shape for a waterjet cutting abrasive depends on the material being cut and the edge finish requirements. Subangular grains, like our ADIRONDACK HPX garnet abrasives, cut more quickly and offer superior edge finishes. Sub-rounded grains are used in more general-purpose cutting applications. ALLTEK HPA is an alluvial garnet with sub-rounded particles.
High-purity materials are processed to meet strict quality standards, and, although they often cost more, they deliver superior cutting results. Low-purity products may contain materials other than the garnet, which reduce the waterjet cutting system’s ability to cut well. BARTON almandine garnet is processed to meet our high purity standards.
Consistent abrasive particle size is vital to waterjet cutting effectiveness. Oversize particles tend to clog the nozzle, which can bring the machining process to a standstill and potentially damage the workpiece. On the other hand, excessive fines can collect in the feed line or cutting head, causing irregular feed and sputtering in the cutting stream. The BARTON manufacturing process ensures consistent control of the particle size distribution of all our waterjet abrasives.
Abrasive cleanliness refers to the amount of “superfines” present in the abrasive. BARTON uses a measurement called “suspended solids,” as well as a multiscreen filtering method, to clean our products of non-garnet materials and dust-causing superfines.
Garnet abrasives are the best abrasives for waterjet cutting applications.
BARTON garnet abrasives are available in more than a dozen grades across our ADIRONDACK, ALLTEK, and FUSION product lines. Our unequalled line of high-performance abrasives gives you the ability to choose the right grade for every application. Whatever your industry, whether you are cutting thick, heavy metals and stone, or thin, delicate materials, there is a BARTON waterjet abrasive that performs with the speed, edge quality, and surface finish you need for cutting:
How to find the best abrasive for your waterjet cutting application
The best way to find the best abrasive for waterjet cutting is to work with your BARTON representative. Describe the type of material you intend to cut. How thick is it? What edge quality and surface finish do you need? How many pieces do you need to produce in normal shift? Answers to these questions will help determine the best type and grade of garnet for your waterjet cutting application.