If you need to cut materials to exceptionally high tolerances, waterjet cutting can help. Waterjet cutting is a cold cutting technology that can produce high-precision cuts in a wide variety of materials. As a cold cutting process, it can be used in materials that cannot be cut through plasma cutting or other methods. Here are some of the major benefits of waterjet cutting.
1. It Doesn’t Produce Heat
Other types of cutting, like plasma cutting, will produce heat. Under this heat, some materials will warp, burn, or become brittle. Waterjet cutting is well-suited to these types of materials (such as plastics) because it can provide a precision cut without any heat.
2. It Can Cut Virtually Any Material
Waterjet cutting is flexible and versatile. It can cut many types of material, including reflective materials, and uneven materials. The highly pressurized waterjet can even cut through stacked materials, to produce multiple cuts at once. Waterjets are powerful enough to cut through electronic devices and solid metal.
3. It’s an Environmentally-Friendly Solution
Unlike other methods of cutting and fabrication, waterjet cutting doesn’t involve any harsh chemicals. Waterjet cutting won’t burn anything, so it won’t release anything hazardous or toxic into the air. This is not only great from an environmental standpoint but also better for workers who are working with waterjet cutting frequently.
4. It Can Cut in Any Direction
Waterjet cutting is performed like other CNC operations: The computer is loaded with a pattern and then the cutter cuts a line. But unlike other CNC operations, waterjet cutting can cut in any direction. Materials can consequently be cut into nearly any shape. Other types of cutting have to be done in straight lines on an axis, or can only cut from top to bottom or from left to right.
5. It’s Extremely Fast
Waterjet cutters can cut through even metal quickly. For rapid prototyping, it’s a very fast way to produce a part — but it can also be used for hundreds or thousands of parts. Of course, the exact speed depends on the machine and the strength of the pump. Some of the fastest cutters can cut through inches of titanium within seconds.
6. It Produces Very Clean Edges
Because it isn’t burning or warping the materials, waterjet cutting also produces very clean edges. The work that has to be done on parts once they have been cut out is minimal — it can even be entirely absent. This makes waterjet cutting a preferable method for those who don’t want to do further finishing.
There are many industries that take advantage of waterjet cutting, for its fast performance, versatility, and cold process. Nearly anything can be cut, ranging from hard metals to food — and the process is both fast and clean. Waterjet cutting is frequently used for rapid prototyping, and other times in which distinct and discrete parts need to be created on-the-fly. However, because the process of setting up the system is purely digital, it can also be used to produce parts of any quantity.