The tolerances achieved by most machine tools is enough. Yet, for fabricators, there is only one method for your high precision parts. For weld-ready parts or creating prototypes straight away, an abrasive OMAX waterjet is your solution.
First, we will discuss traditional CNC machining, lasers, and plasma. And then delve into the world of OMAX abrasive waterjets.
Stainless steel is generally machined with conventional CNC mills and lathes. But work hardening often affects stainless steel. Optimising your machining process is important. You need to disburse heat so your work material is not distorted by heat-affected areas. Plus, the actual cutting tools, high-speed steel and carbide, need to always be sharp. After machining stainless steel on a CNC machine, rough edges are frequent. And a file or deburrer secondary procedure is often necessary to complete the part.
Lasers and plasma cutters often cut thin gauge stainless. These processes involve very high heat. Plasma often is a rough-cutting tool needing secondary procedures to get clean finishes. CO2 laser is quick yet ineffective for fine details. Solid-state lasers are preferable over CO2 for detailed cutting. Yet both of these are not as effective as OMAX.
You can cut stainless steel with speed and ease. And many secondary processes become unnecessary. This is a cold cutting procedure, with no heat-affected areas. So you can weld the waterjet-cut part straight away. There is no material distortion because of heat. So you can organise detailed work to specification. Your operator never has to worry about melting or gouging.
Laser cutting (both solid-state and C02) can only cut thinner gauges of stainless steel. Stainless is reflective. And it needs a coating in a non-reflective film before laser cutting can begin. Plasma does not need special coatings for cutting. Yet it can only cut about 1.25 inches thick before losing force. It also creates a mess. OMAX abrasive waterjet cats thicker dimensions of stainless. Fabricators can cut 6-inch-thick stainless steel parts on their OMAX.