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. 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 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 can be used for a whole variety of materials, such as plastics, metals, rocks, rubber, glass and practically 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 Affected Zone (HAZ)
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 Extra 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. Waterjet technology can create parts with very tight tolerances (average tolerance is about 0.004 of an inch). If a material is over an inch thick, parts that will be produced will be between +/- 0.005 and 0.100 inch thick. 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 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 typically intended for tough, dense materials, and this normally stretches to several long hours. This means they are perfect for unmanned 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. This means “lights-out” operation has become very possible today, and cutting costs can be minimized by a huge difference.