The Unique Capabilities of Waterjet Cutting
For any business or industry, it’s crucial to have access to the latest, and most valuable tools on the market. While there are many different manufacturing processes that can complete complex projects and produce parts, waterjet cutting is a solution that is rapidly growing in popularity, thanks to its various unique capabilities and benefits.
Waterjet cutting is capable of shaping a wide range of different materials, by working similarly to the environmental process of water erosion. The process focuses a thin stream of water, accompanied by an abrasive material such as diamond, on a particular area of a piece of material, cutting it into the shape desired. The numerous benefits and impressive abilities have allowed waterjet cutting to find applications in a diverse number of industries, from aerospace, to mining, architecture, and more.
Following, we will cover just some of the unique capabilities of waterjet cutting — and it may be able to offer for your upcoming projects.
Feature 1: Capable of Cutting Virtually Any Material
Abrasive waterjet machines are incredibly versatile cutting solutions that are capable of cutting almost many materials. These machines are ideal for constructing complex and highly detailed shapes quickly and precisely. Often, waterjet machines offer an ideal alternative for materials inappropriate for thermal or laser cutting, and are exceptional for projects which require little to no thermal stress.
The versatility of the waterjet makes it appealing to almost all industries – as there are very few materials that it cannot work with, including tempered glass, and some forms of advanced ceramic.
Feature 2: Efficient and Fast
The process of using a waterjet machine is fast and efficient, completing complicated and extensive tasks within as little time as possible. Waterjet machines can be set up quick due to the use of advanced and easy-to-learn technology. From there, the cutting head can move carefully across the material according to the shapes and results required.
Because most material cut with a waterjet will require the same head and the same process, there are no changes needed in between material alterations. What’s more, the movements of the machine can use computer programming, which means that workers simply have to stand back and watch as stunning parts form.
Feature 3: Little to No Heat Generation
Unlike many other forms of cutting, the waterjet cutting process is “cold”, meaning that there is no thermal pressure generated in the zones surrounding the cut. The use of a cold cutting process means that metals and other materials can be shaped to standard without accidentally changing the intrinsic properties of those materials through warping or distortion. Unlike plasma, laser, and flame cutting, waterjet and abrasive jet procedures place no heat or mechanical pressures on the material used, meaning that companies can achieve the ideal results, without risk.
Feature 4: No Fixturing Required
Because the waterjet process utilizes a very precise stream of water to erode and shape materials, the need for fixturing is often reduced. In other words, with waterjet cutting, companies will not have to worry about weighting the materials in place or clamping them to avoid mistakes.
Feature 5: Safe, and Environmentally Friendly
During the cutting process, a waterjet machine eliminates smoke, fumes, and airborne dust particles, ensuring that contaminate cannot be released into the atmosphere and lead to operator exposure risks. This can make the process of cutting materials like fiberglass and asbestos much safer and easier.
What’s more, waterjets produce no hazardous waste, meaning that companies can minimize disposal costs, and maximize upon the use of reusable scrap material often lost to traditional cutting methods. Similarly, parts can nest closely together to maximize the value of materials, and the water used during the process can be recycled through a closed-loop system.
Feature 6: Incredible Precision
Finally, waterjet cutting is extremely precise, with typical tolerances of around +/-0.1mm for many materials. Waterjets give manufacturing companies the ability to routinely cut parts with precision, through the use of computer software. What’s more, they are capable of tight tolerances, even when the requirements of the projects force them to stray from straight-line geometrics.
Waterjet cutting systems are some of the most versatile and beneficial tools on the market. The process provides companies with a wide range of unique capabilities and advantages, making it an ideal solution for tackling problems that other technologies simply cannot address.
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