How Fabricators Increase Fatigue Resistance During Water Jet Cutting

Some components that have been fabricated using water jet cutting can have striations that may serve as lines of weakness from which early metal fatigue can start in the fabricated components. This reduced fatigue life can cause premature failure of components. This article discusses some of the measures that metal fabricators can implement in order to ensure that your products will have an increased fatigue resistance after water jet cutting has been performed on them.

Design Adjustments

The fabricator may ask you to allow him or her to alter the design of your components slightly in order to decrease the number of sharp corners in those components. Sharp corners are vulnerable to shortened fatigue life because stresses concentrate on those corners during the water jet cutting process. The sharp corners also experience a lot of stress as components are being used after installation. This increased stress leads them to develop defects, such as cracks, that can quickly spread until the component fails under load. Adjusting the design helps to get rid of those vulnerable corners so that your components will last longer.

Post-Cut Processing

It may sometimes not be possible to eliminate all vulnerabilities, such as sharp corners, in the design of a component. Metal fabricators can enhance the fatigue resistance of such unavoidable vulnerable points by polishing the part once water jet cutting has been completed. Such polishing removes all the striations that would have kick-started the metal fatigue process once you start using those components. This post-cut processing will therefore prolong the service life of the part despite the existence of vulnerabilities in its design.

Careful Cutting Parameter Selection

Post-cut processing helps to eliminate striations that formed during the cutting process. However, experienced water jet cutting machine operators can go a step further and limit the formation of striations in your parts. This can be done by programming the cutting machine so that a slower cutting speed is used in order to reduce the rate at which striations form. The flow rate of the water jet can also be increased as the cutting speed is reduced. These tweaks in the cutting parameters produce high-quality cuts whose fatigue resistance is usually high.

As you can see from the discussion above, several measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood that parts fabricated using water jet cutting will have reduced fatigue resistance. Just find an experienced metal fabricator and that expert will explain what specific measures he or she will take to enhance the fatigue resistance of the components that you would like him or her to fabricate for you using water jet cutting. For more information, contact companies like Chassis Line.