There are two types of waterjet cutting commonly used by manufacturers. Pure waterjet cutting is used for soft materials like foam or paper and only uses the water stream. On the other hand, abrasive waterjet cutting has a granular abrasive that is added to the water stream to cut hard materials like metal and ceramics easily.
These are the different materials that can be cut or shaped with waterjet cutting.
Waterjet cutting is ideal for all types of metals and produces a smooth edge with no burn marks or cracking. In addition, there are no heat-affected zones.
Because waterjet cutting is a quick and clean procedure, aluminium is one of the most frequently cut metals.
Brass alloys are cut fast and neatly with abrasive waterjet cutting. In addition, there is no thermal distortion.
Since abrasive waterjet cutting doesn’t create any heat-affected zones, steel isn’t altered by the waterjet cutting process and always results in a smooth cut.
Copper may be a challenge for laser cutting since it’s a reflective metal.
All grades of stainless steel can easily be cut with abrasive waterjet cutting without weakening the material’s integrity, preventing part failure. In addition, polished or reflective surfaces poses no problem for the waterjet cutting process.
Waterjet cutting of titanium prevents surface embrittlement. Since titanium is expensive, waterjet cutting results in considerable cost-savings and reduced waste material.
Tool steel can be cut with waterjet cutting in a completely hardened state without changing material properties.
Waterjet cutting is ideal for machining glass, stone, or wood.
Waterjet cutting cuts ceramic and produces less debris than the static cutting process.
Waterjet cutting is widely used for cutting ultra-thing of glass products to thick multi-layered glass panels. Due to a low-pressure pierce, waterjet cutting is automatically switched to high-pressure mode to ensure that even the most brittle glass can easily be pierced as a starting point. However, due to its design to shatter into tiny pieces, tempered glass isn’t suitable for waterjet cutting.
With abrasive waterjet cutting, there’s no risk of chipping granite.
Abrasive waterjet cutting can cut leather accurately with an extremely narrow kerf.
As with granite, marble won’t chip when cut with waterjet cutting.
Waterjet cutting is the perfect machining tool to create intricate designs on wood.
Benefits of abrasive waterjet cutting for composites include no health build-up or melting, no hazardous fumes released, quick and clean cuts, and no need to change tooling.
Cutting carbon fibre with abrasive waterjet cutting is ideal for aerospace and automotive applications because of its quick and clean results.
By submerging fibreglass during cutting, no hazardous dust or fumes are produced.
Fibre-reinforced materials like Kevlar is cut quickly and cleanly with waterjet cutting. In addition, the process produces no hazardous dust or fumes.
Plastics and rubber
Unlike conventional CNC machines, waterjet cutting doesn’t result in material distortions and can easily cut foam, rubber, and acrylic, making it essential to any machine shop.
Waterjet cutting uses a low-pressure pierce function to cut cast and extruded acrylic.
Pure waterjet cutting easily cuts foam rubber.
With waterjet cutting, linoleum tiles can be cut to exact measurements without material distortion.
Abrasive waterjet cutting is an easy and quick method for machining intricate designs in polycarbonate.
Pure waterjet cutting processes are ideal for cutting softer rubber, while abrasive waterjet cutting cleanly cuts through fibre-reinforced and very hard rubber.
How thick can an abrasive waterjet cut?
Abrasive waterjet cutting can cut through 30 cm of most materials. However, most material cut through abrasive waterjet cutting is about 7 cm or less, and some users have reported cutting material thicker than 30 cm. It’s crucial to know that cutting parts from thicker material reduces the material’s tolerance and takes longer to cut.
Contact Vest Profiling for details
Vest Profiling specialises in waterjet cutting. Our highly skilled team will consult with you on standard or custom designs and your chosen material. Contact us today to discuss how we can assist you.