What is waterjet cutting?
Many people won’t have heard of waterjet cutting, but as an effective technology it’s been around since the early seventies.
Today the technology allows precision cutting of virtually any shape in almost any material by using the simple principle of pressurising water to extremely high pressures. The water is allowed to stream through a tiny opening of around 1mm in diameter (usually called the ‘orifice’ or ‘jewel’), and by adding abrasive particles and then accelerating them to very fast speeds it is possible to cut through all kinds of materials with astonishing precision.
It’s incredibly powerful; it will even cut through 200mm stainless steel. The water mixture leaves the nozzle at more than 900 mph, the latest machines can cut to within two thousandths of an inch, and jet speeds of around Mach 3 can be achieved.
It has a number of other benefits too:
There’s no ‘heat-affected zone’ (HAZ), minimising the effects of heat and allowing metals to be cut without interfering with their intrinsic properties.
It is capable of incredible accuracy (0.13 mm) and extremely robust repeatability (0.025 mm).
The cutters are capable of producing incredibly intricate cuts; they can even 3-D model utilising specialised software and 3-D machining heads.
Waterjet is a ‘green’ technology; it’s odourless, dust-free and produces no hazardous waste thus reducing waste disposal costs.
In a nutshell, waterjet cutting is the most versatile and most efficient industrial cutting technique available!