Making use of unused abrasive would seem like a good idea, especially since only 30 to 50 percent of all abrasive ever gets used for actual cutting. But is it worth the investment?
The abrasive recycling process
A typical abrasive recycling machine uses a special screen that “washes” used abrasive. Material that has been pulverized beyond use falls through the screen into a waste receptacle. The abrasive that remains on the screen flows down into a dryer and then gets pumped into silos where it remains until it’s ready to be used again. In most cases, the entire sorting process takes about three minutes.
Abrasive recovery rates
Abrasive recycling systems allow machinists to reuse cutting material several times. For example, if a shop starts with 100 pounds of used abrasive, it can recycle the material to yield approximately 70 pounds of abrasive. A second round of recycling might yield 50 pounds, a third 35 pounds, and so on. So an initial purchase of 100 pounds of abrasive could, with recycling, end up yielding 250 pounds or more of water-jet ready cutting material.
When to consider an abrasive recycler
If you are considering an abrasive recycling machine for your shop, here are some questions to consider before making the investment:
- What recovery percentage will the recycling system deliver?
- Will that system – which works in tandem with a waterjet – affect cutting speed?
- What is the cost per pound of the abrasive when taking into account the recycling process?
- Can the cost of a recycling system be justified?
In general, the smaller your operation, the less cost-effective a recycler will be. But if you expect your operation to grow, then a recycler might be something to consider as a future investment.
TechMoon believes in the power of informed choices: the more you know, the better the decisions you’ll make for your projects. We apply that same philosophy to the waterjets we make, choosing the highest quality building materials for our machines. For state-of-the-art technology that’s customized for your needs and won’t break your budget, think TechMoon!