With the technology impacting all areas, the cutting industry is a beneficiary of advanced cutting systems. The newest cutting technology is waterjet cutting and utilizes a stream of water at high speed to make a cut by eroding a narrow line on the material. However, an abrasive can be added to cut a variety of materials such as steel, titanium, and foam among others.
The abrasive is usually added at the nozzle which makes it easier to switch between abrasive waterjet cutting and water only cutting. Because of such flexibility, waterjet machines become very versatile. Again the technology utilized in these water jet cutting systems, different shapes can be cut faster and accurately. Also, inexperienced operators are also able to make cuts accurately without the need trial-and-error.
The cutting process with waterjet systems utilizes a software that guides the cutting head. The high speed of thin water stream cuts the material faster. The water stream is usually very small such that there is minimal wastage. This result is reduced cost for both the machine shop, as well as the customer. The following are other benefits offered by waterjet cutting.
1. Cuts a variety of materials.
When water is combined with abrasives and high pressure, the waterjet can be used to cut any materials. Among the materials that could be cut are such as carbon steel, stainless steel, tool steel, titanium, wood, ceramic, granite, and copper. Unlike traditional equipment that can only cut certain materials, waterjet offers a huge benefit.
2. No heat zones.
Waterjet cutting eliminates heat damage on the edges unlike some methods like laser and plasma cutting that result in heat zones. Because of this, it is possible to cut different materials like metals and plastics without distorting, melting or warping them. This is because any heat produced is absorbed by the water that goes back to the tank. Temperatures will only go high when piercing a thick metal part. Otherwise, rest will be at room temperature.
3. Complex shapes are possible.
It is one of the big advantage provided by waterjet cutting. Almost any shape can be cut. You can now cut sharp corners, pierce holes, bevels, and shapes that have minimal inner radii. At the same time, cutting time is significantly reduced because stacking, tabbing, and nesting help to optimize the material.
4. Friendly to the environment.
During waterjet cutting, there is no grindings, chips, and hazardous gases produced, making it a clean cutting method. There is also no need for emulsions and oil during cutting. A waterjet machine can also be used to cut food products, textiles, and elastomers when using clean water.