Waterjet cutting is simply the cutting of materials with the use of a jet of water. Water alone may be used, or an abrasive could be added to help cut through harder and denser materials, like steel. The water is pushed out of a precision aperture, or jewel, at about 40,000 to 60,000 PSI (pounds per square inch), thereby producing a sharp stream of water. To give you a clue, water pressure in an average household is around 60 PSI.
Whether waterjet cutting is a new concept to you or you are already using it for your manufacturing processes, it pays to know its advantages over other cutting technologies: Flow Waterjet cutting may or may not be new to you, but its benefits as opposed to other cutting technologies are always worth knowing, if not necessary for the improvement of your processes.
No Material Restrictions
Waterjet cutting is versatile in that it can cut all kinds of materials, from composites to metals to plastics to rubber to glass and more. When a granular abrasive is added to water, a waterjet cutting machine can cut smoothly into materials with a maximum thickness of 200 mm. Know more about Waterjet Cutting here!
No Heat Concerns
A big advantage of waterjet cutting is that you don’t have to worry about heat affected zone (HAZ) issues, considering that the method is basically cold cutting. Not only does cold cutting produce perfectly clean cuts, but it is much safer for the operator as well, as the risk of burns no longer exists.
Zero Material Distortion
The cold cutting method used in waterjet technology bypasses heat exposure, which means finer cuts can be made without any type of distortion in the material being cut. In short, the cut you get is nothing short of smooth and burr-free.
No Added Finishing Process
The high cutting quality of waterjet technology assures you of a precise result, negating the need for any more additional finishing. Waterjets can produce components with capable of making parts with exceedingly tight tolerances (average is between 0.003 to 0.005 of an inch). For materials with a thickness above 1 inch, parts between +/- 0.005 and 0.100 inch thick may be created. Tolerances can vary significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer because of differences in technology and in how the machines were built. Watch this video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IplE_i5KMjw for more info about water jet.
The growing necessity of environment-safe processes through all the industries is becoming increasingly apparent. A tremendous advantage provided by waterjet cutting is that it comes with absolutely no hazardous wastes, such as fumes or gases associated with other cutting machines.
Lower Labor Costs
Waterjet cutting machines are often used to cut thick, hard materials, a process that usually takes a really long time to finish (up to several hours). This means they are perfect for unmanned operations. But even this isn’t immune to problems, like a worn wear insert, a blocked garnet supply, and so on. Luckily, this is no longer a sore point because many modern waterjet manufacturers now make machines that alert the operator every time an issue is detected. So “lights-out” operation is now perfectly feasible, allowing cutting costs to be reduced by a wide margin.