A focus tube, also known as a mixing tube or nozzle mixes the waterjet and abrasive used in abrasive waterjet cutting. It accelerates the particles and water towards the material enabling powerful cutting to take place.
KMT Waterjet offers a selection of carbide focus tubes for abrasive cutting. Carbide is a strong and rigid metal with a high level of tolerance and resistance. It can last up to 100 times longer than steel in erosion conditions. Carbide therefore possesses the perfect characteristics for focus tubes to be composed of.
Focus tubes play a critical role in the waterjet cutting process and therefore there are some important elements to take into consideration:
- The type of material you are cutting: This will affect what type of focus tube or nozzle you will require, along with influencing many other factors such as speed and quality of cut.
- Whether you will be using abrasive or pure waterjet technology to cut: Focus tubes are only used in abrasive waterjet cutting because in pure waterjet cutting there is no abrasive that the water must be mixed with.
- The quality and speed of cut that you desire: The type of nozzle you choose will have implications for these two elements of the cutting process.
- The pressure of water: The focus tube diameter will affect how much water and with what pressure the water is being directed at the piece of material.
- The volume of production: since the focus tube is using abrasive mixed with water erosion will eventually cause the nozzle opening to widen. At this point the focus tube will need to be replaced to ensure that a minimum kerf width is maintained. Therefore it is important to take this into consideration and plan ahead for focus tube requirements based on your planned production.