How to Get Rid of Abrasives During Your Water Jet Cutting Machine Cleanout?

People who are first-time owners/users of abrasive waterjet machines often wonder if they have to contend with hazardous materials while using them as they need to address the prospect of dealing with either abrasive particles or wastewater. The main concern for businesses is paying the significant costs associated with waste disposal or waste treatment or risking fines or litigation.

Waterjet establishments must be up to date with current local water disposal and solid-waste restrictions, so they know the business and environmental costs of what they are throwing away.

Garnet, the most commonly used waterjet abrasive material, is classified as an inert, naturally produced semi-precious mineral. It can be mined in the mountains of Idaho or in upstate New York. as well as from the beaches of India and Australia.

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Is Abrasive Waste Classified Hazardous Substance?

So, do we consider abrasive waste as something hazardous? Can it put human health in harm’s way? Or be detrimental to the surrounding environment?

It actually depends on the kind of material you are cutting or slicing, as well as how much of it you are processing. 

If what you are working on involves the processing (cutting/slicing or trimming) of lead or beryllium copper, you run the risk of putting yourself in a life-threatening situation. 

In terms of other materials, the amount of scrap material that comes with the used abrasive particle is so small that it is almost negligible. In the case of stainless steel, unless they carry a considerable amount of nickel or chromium in them, they are infrequently a matter of concern.

As with water, you should perform a toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TLCP testing) to help determine the abrasive material’s level of toxicity. If you can obtain a used abrasive before purchasing the water jet cutting machine, operate it for a few months first and have it evaluated.

What is TLCP Testing? 

CNCThe toxicity characteristic leaching technique (otherwise known as TCLP), is a crucial test for spent water and abrasive because it assesses waste water’s level of toxicity. The TCLP was developed by the EPA to imitate the leaching process that garbage goes through when it is dumped in a dedicated sanitary landfill.

It identifies how much of the waste’s harmful elements will find their way and seep into the surrounding environment. 

If you are planning to purchase a water softener anytime soon, or want to acquire a water recycling system or perhaps a reverse osmosis system from the same vendor, you should anticipate paying less or getting it free of charge. 

If there is something you want to know further about the TLCP procedure, we suggest that you can contact your waste hauler. After all, they carry out this procedure at least once a year. 

Reducing Disposal Costs

Piles of bags of used or spent abrasive materials line most of the waterjet workshops, draining water. By draining the water they hold, they are not obligated to pay for its disposal, too. 

Alternatively, a waterjet machine shop can take advantage of abrasive removal systems that can extract the water from the tank. What they do is hold the abrasive materials and reduce the volume to a trickle while the abrasive particles are being retrieved.

A second disposal alternative: Put it up for sale. 

For this, you would want to look for companies that are involved in the production of pavers. Depending on the arrangement you want to have with them, they are willing to compensate you if you’re able to deliver them a constant and considerable supply of used abrasive particles like garnet.