Advantages Offered by Waterjet Cutting
Waterjet cutting is a process of cutting materials using a jet of water. It can involve either just water, or water with an abrasive for harder and denser materials, such as steel. Pressure of around 40,000 to 60,000 PSI (pounds per square inch) is applied to the water, forcing it out of a precision orifice, also called jewel, and creating a well-defined stream. Just to give you an idea, water pressure in a regular home is 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.
Waterjet cutting is compatible with practically all kinds of materials, from glass to rubber to stone to composites and almost everything else. 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 Concerns
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.
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, you just get a nice, bur-free cut.
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 can vary significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer because of differences in technology and in how the machines were built.
The increasing importance of environmentally friendly methods across the industries is becoming clearer and clearer by the day. A huge advantage offered by waterjet cutting is that it leaves no hazardous waste, whether fumes or gases or whatever, unlike other cutting methods.
Reduced Labour 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 makes them highly suitable for operations that do not require close human supervision. But problems can still occur, such as a damaged orifice, a blocked focusing tube, etc. 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. This means “lights-out” operation has become very possible today, and cutting costs can be minimized by a huge difference.