Waterjet cutting has become a very popular technique of cutting that is being adopted by several fabricators across many industries. It is an extremely good means of cutting of many kinds of materials of varied thicknesses. Waterjet cutting is very good for cutting thick aluminium and it can also cut steel up to 6-inches in thickness. The waterjet cutting process does not leave behind a heat affected zone and there is no need for any further finishing processes.
You cannot cut materials that are more than one layer using hot cutting processes as these processes will weld the layers together when the metal is molten while cutting. For cutting of stacked materials, choosing waterjet cutting is ideal. If you are cutting rubber, then waterjet cutting is the best as conventional methods of cutting do not work well when it comes to cutting rubber.
Waterjet cutting can be used to cut any kind of material as the process does not melt the material to cut so whether the melting temperature is low or high, it does not matter. Waterjets can cut paper, wood or high-temperature alloys.
When you are prototyping, it is a good idea to use waterjet cutting as it is cheaper, faster and easier to run prototypes on. If you need to test a part before the actual production, it is very easy to modify the cutting program and re-cut the part.
Where Waterjet Cutting Will Not Work
Waterjet cutting is not a “one size fits all” cutting solution for all projects. For instance, if you want to cut a part of around 50 different designs from a single sheet of thin metal, it may be cheaper to use laser cutting as it will be faster than waterjet.
If you want to make many small holes through a thick material, then waterjet cutting may not be the best option. Using a drill or a mill can be faster and cheaper.
If you need to cut some parts and cannot rationalise the minimum charge for the lot, then you can go in for plasma cutting or some other process instead of waterjet cutting, as they may be cheaper. However, these processes may not give you the superior edge finish and tolerances as waterjet cutting.
If the material that you are cutting cannot tolerate any water, then probably waterjet cutting may not be right for the job as the parts may be exposed to some water and it may not be possible to keep them totally dry.
You can keep these points in mind when deciding on a method of cutting and evaluate whether waterjet cutting is an appropriate method suited for your requirements or not. If you’re not sure which system is better for you, why not get in touch today and let’s see what Escco can do for you.