As more businesses and industries discover the advantages of waterjets, the demand continues to grow. This year the demand was $921.7 million and is expected to grow up to $1,248 million by 2023.
This versatile and environmentally friendly cutter is quickly proving it can outperform most traditional cutting methods. Curious what the advantages of water jet cutting are for your business?
Keep reading and we are going to give you 10 reasons why waterjet cutters are a smart choice for your manufacturing business.
What Is Waterjet Cutting?
A waterjet uses pressurized water that is focused into a point. The high pressure of the water can be used to cut through materials.
Let’s see why it’s better than other forms of cutting:
1. Green Technology
Unlike other forms, a water jet cutter is environmentally friendly because it isn’t going to create a hazardous material or require any chemicals for operation. This means that scrap metal can be recycled.
The system also can be closed loop. This means that it will use very little water in the cutting.
A waterjet cutter can cut through almost any material you want. It can even handle very tough materials such as stone, glass, or metal.
You are really only limited when it comes to diamonds or tempered glass. Diamonds are too hard while tempered glass is designed to shatter. So if you point a waterjet at tempered glass, it will break into a million pieces.
You also are not limited by reflective, fiber-enforced, or uneven surfaces. You don’t ever want to turn a laser on and point it at a reflective surface, but you’ll be fine if you’re using a water jet.
Finally, you can cut through thicker materials with your waterjet. A laser cutter is going to excel at a thickness of .12″ to .4″. The water jet can keep cutting material that is .4″ to 2 inches thick.
3. Low Heat
Some cutters will get very hot either because that is the cutting mechanism, or the heat is generated from the friction. Think of how hot a blade gets when it cuts through metal. Water cutters do not have this problem.
If you are cutting a material that is heat sensitive, this is a big advantage. You don’t risk compromising the integrity of the material or having it break apart.
If getting your cut perfect is important, then a waterjet cutter can help you. You can make your cuts within an accuracy of .13mm.
You will see this demonstrated most often with stone and glass. Traditional cutting tools simply can’t achieve the same level of intricate cuts that a waterjet can.
The waterjet will create a small kerf width. This is an advantage of lasers and other cutters that create a wider void when they cut through material.
The lower kerf width means there is less material wastage. This ability to nest parts so closely translates to cost-effective cutting.
5. Save Money
It costs a lot less money to run a waterjet cutter than other options. Your company also saves money by reducing the time it takes to transition from the drawing stage to cutting stage.
Depending on the material you are cutting, a waterjet can cut through it faster than other traditional methods. Sometimes that means up to hundreds of feet of cutting per minute.
Depending on the material that you intend to cut, you can adjust the pressure of the water. It could be as high as 60,000 pounds per square inch.
You obviously don’t want to use the same amount of pressure for all materials, as some are softer and easier to cut than others. So adjusting the pressure gives you greater control.
You can also mix abrasive materials into the water. This will give you even more ability to cut different materials.
7. 3D Cutting
If you need to create 3D cuts, then you will need to use a waterjet cutter. You can program the waterjet to cut on an angle or Z axis.
Another way to describe the cutting ability is “omnidirectional”. This is different to some cutting machines that only let you cut in a straight vertical line in one direction.
Complex shapes are no problem for a waterjet. This includes piercing holes, sharp corners, or bevels.
Industrial machinery can be loud. Very loud. This doesn’t always have to be the case though with a water jet cutter.
This is partially because you don’t have the sound created during the cutting action. Water is a silent cutter.
9. Easy to Use
Most water jet machines come with a large touch screen. This lets the user see all of the controls and options from a single dashboard.
You’ll find that many modern water jet cutting machines have a 15 or 17-inch screen. Some even have the control screen separate from the cutting machine. This lets you easily operate the cutting from a safe distance away.
10. Cleaner Running
One common problem of most cutters is the amount of debris and dust created from the cutting. This simply doesn’t happen with a waterjet cutter.
The dust is immediately trapped in the water. Then it is carried away to be filtered out in another phase of the closed-loop system.
Water Jet Cutting in Review
By choosing a water jet, you can take advantage of the clean low-temperature cutting. The water will trap and sweep away any dust or debris created while cutting.
Once you complete your cutting, you’ll appreciate the low kerf width and precision. Water jet cutting is an easily programmable and versatile way to power through almost any material.
Curious why heat is generated during the cutting process for some tools? Check out this article on the process of thermodynamics.