How Waterjet Cutting Works
Waterjet cutting involves forcing water through a tiny hole at a high velocity and pressure. The stream of water goes through the nozzle and into the material, leaving behind a perfect cut. Certain materials require a granular abrasive (typically garnet) to be combined with the water stream at the nozzle to increase the cutting power.
A waterjet cutting machine system is composed of:
- A waterjet table – a nozzle mechanism with an abrasive hopper attached and catcher tank below
- A waterjet pump – provides highly-pressurized water for the cutting process
- A controller – uses software for system operation, motion control, and nozzle positioning
What Materials Can a Waterjet Cut?
Water Jet cutting uses high-pressure water to cut softer materials, and for harder materials, abrasives are added. An abrasive waterjet can cut virtually anything, even difficult materials such as metal, glass, or rubber.
Waterjet Metal Cutting
Waterjet metal cutting eliminates issues typically related to other processes or tools used for cutting metal, such as burrs (the formation of rough edges or ridges on the metal piece) and heat-affected zones that undergo material property changes. Many types of metal can be cut with a waterjet without the usual limitations.
- Stainless Steel
Waterjet Glass Cutting
With specialized techniques such as low-pressure pierce, water-only cutting, and vacuum assistance, a wide variety of glass materials can be precisely cut with a waterjet.
- Stained Glass
Plastic Cutting Machine
A waterjet machine is a great tool for cutting plastics, acrylics, and rubber.
Waterjet Tile Cutting
A waterjet can cut tiles, stones, and other rock materials into different shapes with extra attention to detail, including complicated corners or small holes.
Fabric Cutting Machine
Waterjet machines routinely cut a variety of textile materials from fibers and fabrics to carpets and rugs.
Waterjet Wood Cutting
Waterjet cutters can cut through any type of wood material efficiently, leaving the edges smooth and most often not needing secondary furnishing. The high pressure and velocity of the water will be sufficient enough for water to pass through the wood by causing little to no surface wetness or delamination.
Waterjet Cutting Carbon Fiber
Abrasive waterjet has major advantages when cutting carbon fiber and composites. There are no special considerations or restrictions due to heat buildup and no melting or hazardous fumes. Any fiber-reinforced material can be quickly and cleanly cut without the drawbacks that come with conventional machining.
- Carbon Fiber
What is Waterjet Cutting Used For?
Because waterjet machines have the ability to accurately cut and shape countless materials and small parts, it is the preferred method for a number of industries and applications, including:
- Aerospace – body & body parts, engine components, structural components, etc.
- Automotive – interior trim, fiberglass body components, insulation, foam, under-hood, etc.
- Electronics – circuit boards, electrical enclosures, control panels, components for portable generators, etc.
- Medical / Surgical – artificial limb components, carbon braces & orthopedic appliances, etc.
- Architectural / Design / Artwork – architectural trim & window system components, flooring/table/wall inlays, tiling & backsplashes, countertops, signage, clothing, furniture, etc.
Advantages of Waterjet Cutting
Waterjet machines can cut various high-thickness metal and stone materials that are difficult to cut with other tools; in fact, they can cut virtually any material into any 2D shape with extremely high accuracy. They leave a satin-smooth finish on the edges, reducing the need for secondary operations. Waterjet cutting does not produce any heat-affected zones on materials being cut, and because the waterjet stream is very thin, the materials do not absorb water, further maintaining the integrity of the material.
Waterjet cutting saves expensive raw material — the scrap still has a high value because chunks remain, not chips. By using a waterjet machine, it is possible to get more parts from the same material. Additionally, there are no hazardous wastes generated and the cutting process is environmentally friendly.
Why Choose Us for Waterjet Cutting Services
When you work with Automated Gasket Corp., you receive the best customer service from our knowledgeable team as well as high-quality results in a timely manner. From gasket fabrication to waterjet cutting services, we can make the product design and prototyping process easier for you!