Waterjet cutting is a water-based cutting tool that is capable of cutting, slicing or carving several different types of materials in the industrial and commercial arena. A pressurized jet of water is forced through a small orifice to enhance its cutting capabilities. Materials up to 12" thickness can typically be cut using this method.
While some applications make use of pure water, there are some others where abrasive materials are mixed with water for better cutting capabilities. When the water-abrasive mixture is used for cutting, it is referred to as an abrasivejet. Abrasivejets are used primarily for cutting hard materials such as stone, metals or alloys. Other softer materials such as food, cloth, rubber, and paper can be easily cut using pure jets of water. In certain high-pressure water jet cutting applications, the water pressure could be higher than 60,000 PSI.
The advantages of Abrasive waterjet cutting technology
While it is true that this cutting method is simple in its properties, it is also true that it is the method needs to be handled only by professionals experienced in this technique. So, it wouldn't be wrong to say that this technology is advantageous only when it is in the right hands.
Here are some major advantages of cutting using water jets:
It is a cold cutting process, which means it doesn't need to make use of lasers or flames for cutting. This also means that there are no heat affected zones when you employ jets of water for cutting various materials.
With cutting methods such as stamping, laser cutting or sawing, the material being cut might get stressed, deformed or crushed. But water jets are so efficient and simple that they have no such drawbacks.
The finish rendered by this cutting method is so good that often there is no need for after-cut machining or finishing operations. This not only saves costs, but also saves a considerable amount of time.
Factors impacting the environment such as dust, fumes, and gas are a non-issue when you choose jets of water as a cutting medium. These jets are considered to be environmentally safe and sustainable cutting methods.
Most of the abrasive waterjet cutting systems available today can be easily integrated into existing production systems. So you don't have to worry about compatibility and upgrades to a new technology.
The accuracy, repeatability and precision of this cutting technique are among the best in the industry today. It can cut in multiple axes at very high speeds.
There are a myriad of materials that can be cut using a waterjet. These include stone, metals, glass, composites, fiberglass, plastic, wood, textiles, foam, meat, fruits and vegetables, and so on. Given all these apparent advantages, it comes as no surprise that more and more enterprises are increasingly switching over to this cutting technique.
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