Why Shift to Waterjet Cutting?
Waterjet cutting is a technique that relies on a jet of water to cut through materials. This is done either with water exclusively, or water plus an abrasive when the material to be cut is tougher and denser than usual (for example, steel). Pressurized water – about 40,000 to 60,000 PSI (pounds per square inch)- is pushed out of a precision opening, also known as jewel, and the result is a highly defined stream of water. For comparison, water pressure in a typical home is somewhere around 60 PSI.
Whether you are new to waterjet cutting technology or you have applied it to your manufacturing processes, knowing its advantages over other cutting technologies is always worthwhile, if not necessary.
No Material Limitations
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. A granular abrasive is usually added to water, allowing a waterjet cutting machine to cut easily into materials of varying thickness up to 200mm.
No Heat Worries
A key advantage of waterjet cutting is that it is a cold-cutting method, which means you deal with no heat affected zone (HAZ) issues. Cold cutting doesn’t only lead to clean cuts, but it also boosts the operator’s safety by eliminating the risks of burns.
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 Additional Finishing
The superior cutting quality of waterjet technology guarantees pinpoint results, making any additional finishing unnecessaryWaterjet technology’s high cutting quality ensures an on-point result and avoids the need for any extra finishing. Flow waterjets are capable of making parts with extremely tight tolerances (typical tolerances range from 0.003 inch to 0.005 inch). For materials with a thickness above 1 inch, parts between +/- 0.005 and 0.100 inch thick may be created. Tolerances are diverse among various manufacturers primarily because of varying technologies and machine constructions.
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.
Reduced Labour Costs
Waterjet cutting machines are typically intended for tough, dense materials, and this normally stretches to several long hours. This couldn’t make them more ideal for so-called “lights-out” operations. But problems can still occur, such as a damaged orifice, a blocked focusing tube, etc. But this has ceased to be a problem, with modern waterjet manufacturers making machines that could be set to send alerts to the operator in case there are issues. So “lights-out” operation is now perfectly feasible, allowing cutting costs to be reduced by a wide margin.