The Benefits Of Waterjet Cutting

by | Jul 2, 2024 | Business

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Waterjet cutting has become a mainstay in the cutting and honing of materials for many industrial and manufacturing applications today. But what really is this technology and how does it work? It can be viewed essentially as controlled erosion at a highly accelerated pace. Just like the ocean over time wears down large rocks into sand, water directed under high pressure and with precise direction can cut anything from granite to marble to sheet metal and more.

Why waterjet cutting has become so popular relative to other material cutting methods available is due to multiple factors. One of these is its ability to make cuts with very tight tolerances. This means that the end cut is exceptionally close to that which was intended. The variable between the intended cut and the actual cut is called tolerance so the ability to deliver a very low tolerance makes water jet cutting a popular process. It allows cutting to be more precise, reduces waste and increases cutting speed—all factors that businesses are looking for in an ever-increasingly competitive world.

Another benefit of water jet systems is their ability to cut thicker materials than other systems can—and a full range of materials as well. For example, a good waterjet cutting system can effectively cut a 10” thick piece of stainless steel quite effortlessly. Similarly, several thinner pieces of material can be stacked together and cut all at the same time, dramatically reducing production times.

The smooth finish that can be achieved with water cuts also allows for finished edging on many materials. The smoothness of a cut can be controlled by the speed at which the water flow is directed to the material. A fast water flow will yield a rougher cut. Depending on the material being cut and its application, there can be varying levels of roughness that are acceptable in the manufacturing process and companies have the ability to control that, and the production speeds, with waterjet technology.

The lack of need for any heat in the cutting process is another benefit of water jet systems. It prevents the formation of any warping or distortion, common problems that occur with plasma, laser or oxy-fuel cutting. For applications that need to have multiple shapes nested and cut together, water jet cutting can do that as well. The overall flexibility and range of features available make the use of high pressure water for cutting industrial applications extremely popular and useful.