Cutting .005" 304SS Hardened, how to reduce burrs?

just what it says on the tin, i’m making heater elements out of 304ss and it’s too thin to deburr manually without bending the material. is there a way to prevent burrs? currently using the thinnest SS parameters

Hi Aspen! Thanks for joining the WAZER Forum and voicing your concern. A general rule of thumb when it comes to cutting thin stock sheet metal is if the sheet is held out, can it stand on its own? Does the metal bend due to its own weight?

When working with materials that bend under its own weight, the water pressure alone causes blowout. You want the waterjet pierce process to take approximately 1 second to pierce through the entire material. This provides the cut quality a decent edge with defined lines. Any less than one second pierce on sheet metals will simply blow the material out and will require post process clean-up.

One thing you could try is to sandwich the thin metal sheet between two scrap pieces of material. This may provide some more definition to the cut quality along the sheet metal, but it is important that these layers are compressed VERY TIGHTLY. It may be best to use only one layer of scrap material on top of the thin metal sheet.

As a recommendation, I would try sandwiching the material with thin acrylic or HDPE. I hate to admit it, but I have invested in a few purchases of bulk HDPE cutting boards on Amazon and used them as scrap material in the past. One or two of these cutting boards can be found in my kitchen today.

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Thanks Alex, we have a ton of acrylic lying around the shop so i’ll give that a try, maybe i’ll adhere the metal to the acrylic with some double-sided tape to make sure it’s not going anywhere. how thick acrylic would you recommend? 1/8"?

1/8in acrylic will do great! As you can see below, that material requires a small amount of pierce time, and can move decently fast.

I would recommend a mixed bag of different tests. Acrylic on top of sheet metal, acrylic on bottom, and acrylic on both sides (This may take the longest and is likely the least recommended since the cut setting has essentially doubled to account for the 1/4in thick acrylic total)

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I stick the parts in a vise and squeeze the edges back to being flat. Simple and easy for smaller parts.