Most Important Benefits of Waterjet Cutting
Waterjet cutting is a technique that relies on a jet of water to cut through materials. 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.
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. The addition of a granular abrasive to water allows the technology to produce quality cuts on materials up to 200 mm thick.
No Heat Affected Zone (HAZ)
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 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. 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 differ considerably from one manufacturer to another mainly due to variations in technology and in terms of machine construction.
Zero Hazardous Waste
The rising importance of using environment-friendly processes in every kind of industry cannot be ignored. 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 couldn’t make them more ideal for so-called “lights-out” operations. But even this isn’t excused from issues, which can range from a worn wear insert to a blocked garnet supply and many more. 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.