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How Does a Waterjet Cut Steel?

22 February

Headland Admin

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How does a waterjet cut steel?

How does a waterjet cut steel and any other material?

First we explain what waterjet cutting is, then what materials it can cut, including steel and other materials.

What is waterjet cutting?

 Waterjet cutting is a way of processing materials which uses a high-pressure stream of waterjet to erode a line in the material you wish to cut. A granular abrasive is used, usually garnet which is added to the waterjet to increase the cutting power of the machine.

A variety of material can be cut with a waterjet, while at the same time maintaining a high level of precision.

What materials can a waterjet cut?

 Waterjet cutting machines can cut a large variety of materials including Steel, the different types of steel is detailed below including the benefits. Furthermore, the variety of other material is also detailed and the benefits of processing with a waterjet machine.

Metal

  • Hardened tool steel, aluminium, titanium and exotic metals.
  • Aluminium is a popular material cut on a waterjet as it’s cut so cleanly and quickly.
  • Additionally, brass alloys are also popular as there is no thermal distortion with the finished product.
  • Carbon Steel – as with the above two materials, carbon steel is favourable to cut with a waterjet as the material is not altered by the cutting process.
  • Copper – this highly reflective material is no problem for a waterjet to process.
  • Stainless Steel – Including 304 is easily processed on an waterjet cutting machine.
  • Titanium – Cut without surface embrittlement or thermal distortion. The waterjet is immune to dulled cutting tools.
  • Tool Steel – Cut tool steel with close to precision of an EDM machine, with up to 10 times the speed.

Benefits of cutting metal with waterjets

 Waterjet cutting is a cold cutting method, which means there is no heat affected zones, so you’ll achieve a smooth edge with no burn marks, cracking or excess burrs.

Naturals

Within the natural range of materials, you can cut wood, stone and glass. With the low-pressure pierce, vacuum assistance, and water-only cutting you can cut natural materials with confidence.

Glass
Cut ultra-thin panels to thick multi-layered bullet proof panels. Such panels might be used in mobile phones, windows, and vehicles.

Granite
You can cut granite without chipping when compared to a conventional saw.

Leather
Cut with accuracy with a narrow kerf width.

Marble
Cut marble for bathroom and kitchens without the stress of chipping.

Wood
Machine intricate designs or for wood impregnated with additional agents.

Composites

 Any fiber reinforced material, including Kevlar can be machined with ease, without any of the conventional draw backs of conventional machining.

 Carbon Fiber

The biggest benefit of cutting composites with waterjet technology is there is no need to change the tooling no special considerations or restrictions due to heat build-up, melting or dangerous fumes.

AeroFIBER™

The low pressure pierce, and high control of cutting layered materials. The waterjet can cut AeroFIBER.

 FeroForm

FeroForm cuts without fraying on an abrasive waterjet.

Fiberglass

Submerge the material while cutting ensures that the hazardous fumes and dust is eliminated.

G10

Remove the threat of delamination when you cut G10 with a waterjet.

Kevlar

Reduce the risk of hazardous dust or fumes.

Phenolic

Abrasive waterjets leaves a smooth surface on phenolic.

Plastics & Rubber

Reduce any issues of distortion when machining plastic when you cut with cold-cutting techniques associated with a waterjet. The versatility of the waterjet makes it an easy addition to a workshop.

Acrylic

The low-pressure pierce function ensures the waterjet cuts extruded acrylic easily and cleanly.

 Foam

When cutting foam, there is no need to use abrasive, just the water-only nozzle is required.

Linoleum Tile

Cut precisely without material distortion.

Plexiglas

Submerging material as you cut, ensures that the likelihood of flying shards is reduced.

Polycarbonate

Reduce the time to cut this material and intricate designs.

Rubber

Use only the water-only nozzle without abrasive to cut this material. Cut soft, fiber-reinforced rubber and very hard rubber cleanly.

How does a waterjet cut steel?

Waterjet cutting machines can cut a large variety of steel.

The pump pushes pressure into the nozzle, which accelerates the water along with the abrasive in the water erodes the material away.

Watch this video to view how an Waterjet works, cutting steel or any other material mentioned above.

 




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